A shout out to Julie Jordan Scott for reviewing my latest book of poetry, Father’s Eyes:
The first thing I thought when I picked up Cherie Burbach’s collection of poetry “Father’s Eyes” was… “Wow, we have a lot in common.”
We were both raised in homes with a father who was an alcoholic. Her father-daughter relationship ended abruptly, in tragedy. Mine continues to grow and flourish, now that the years of “being a non drinking alcoholic” outnumber his years as a “drunk alcoholic”.
We have both struggled with identity, with body issues, with learning to show up authentically – and we both have a spiritual base upon which to grow, breathe, and find out way. The Christian perspective that fills the poetry is from an open, grateful, non-preachy way which will be appreciated by all readers no-matter whether they are Christian or not. (I say this as someone who is easily turned off by what I call “Christian-ese.”)
Burbach shares her poetry in four different sections: The Struggle, The Search, The Surrender, The Embrace. Traveling through the sections is a mirror to traveling alongside Burbach as she tells her life story. Their are subtle shifts in her voice and tone as she awakens to truth.
From “The Struggle” her poem “How Far”is one I literally feel within my skin. It can almost be sung, in a child-like way. In “The Search” “Every October 6” is exceptionally poignant and “I Looked in the Mirror” ends with such a stunning “a-ha” I wanted to applaud Burbach right in that moment in time.
“The Srrrender” includes “Read the Label” – almost a lengthy confessional process, very honest and passionate – and “The Story of Me” a universal longing recognized.
In the victorious section, “The Embrace” I especially appreciate the poem-book-ends of “I Was a Poet” and “Father’s Eyes” AND there is not a poem in there that should be skipped over.
These poems could be used as daily readings, one a day – for reflection and introspection.
Burbach invites me into each poem – takes my hand – shares her life and her story with me, and in turn, I connect my life with hers. I will read these poems over and over again.