Kaleidoscopic Beauty: A Collection of Poetry on Love, Loss, and the Beauty of the Natural World is Karen Horsley’s first book. It’s been exciting to watch Karen develop as a poet on her blog. It was quickly apparent that she was very talented, and I’m so glad she decided to run with it!
There’s great variety in writing style among the poems in this book. I’m by no means a poetry expert so I lack the terminology to actually explain what I mean, but Karen experiments with different structures, both visually and rhythmically, as well as different rhyme schemes. There are unexpected descriptions; while we might generally think of snow as bright, in one poem it results in “earth’s rich palette dulled to white”
I liked the range of vocabulary that Karen used, and the beautiful combinations of words that make the whole process appear effortless. In the poem that inspired the book’s title, Karen writes:
“Washed by rain, the earth shimmers
The sun’s golden rays intensify
Nature’s glorious colours
Of kaleidoscopic beauty”
The nature poems are a reminder to be mindful and appreciative of the beautiful world that surrounds us, and they evoke vivid imagery. Some of the descriptions of nature were also very significant as descriptions of human life, such as
” The fragility of perfection so easily marred
And tainted by footprints in the snow.”
The poems about the challenges life throws at us are likely to resonate with many readers, as they seem to capture the essence of the human experience. The poem Forest In My Mind reminded me a lot of some of my own mind’s inner tangles. There were other poems, such as Life View, that were equally effective at evoking visual images to correspond to experiences we face in our lives.
I particularly liked Karen’s choice of final poem for the book; I Rise gives hope that rising from the ashes is possible. This book as a whole is a wonderful reminder that from life’s greatest challenges can come great beauty.
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You can find Karen on her blog Blue Sky Days 365