A Book of Poetry

Poetry - Love/Romance
117 Pages
Reviewed on 07/14/2020
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite

The well-known phrase, “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”, taken from the United States Declaration of Independence, has frequently been re-quoted as “Life, Love and the pursuit of Happiness”. For many people, life is a love story, sometimes happy, other times tragic and sad. For the artist, the writer, and the poet, this love story of life is a dominant theme of expressive creativity. It can be argued that poetry best expresses the sentiments of love. But to use poetry as a medium to tell a love story, in the first-person poetic narrative, is definitely unique.

That’s what poet D.T. Caldwell has done in this recent publication, Dreamt: A Book of Poetry. Accompanied by some inspiring photographs, the poet has created a story in verse of a passionate love story, one that never should have ended (according to the narrator). The narrator provides their perspective of the story and, through the gentle nature of free verse, leads the reader on a journey from the first meeting to the separation and loss, to the remorse that what was desired didn’t last in actuality, although it will remain forever embedded in their heart and dreams.

The poet incorporates a wonderful command of the English language, with metaphors and similes and profound expressions; some simple, others complex. The poetic language paints a picture as well as tells a story, succinctly, with beauty and great emotion: “I was a mystery: An emblem of hope,/ A signal of kindness,/ A girl with a lantern in the darkness./ A wonder and a mystery.” The lantern in the darkness is prophetic in its ability to foreshadow both positive and negative thoughts. And the concluding verse, written as a letter to the lost love, sums up the feelings and aspirations beautifully: “You are the adventurous and you are the inspiration./ I was the pride and I was the joy,/ …. you were more than I had dreamt.” A very touching journey through life and love.

Edith Wairimu

D.T. Caldwell’s soul-stirring collection of poems, Dreamt, includes poems about romance and life experiences. In the first poem “Journey,” the narrator envisions a traveler’s experiences before they arrive at their destination. Laughter, solitude, and grief are among the feelings they experience on their journey. Other poems narrate the passionate, intimate moments between two people. In the poem “Tell Me,” the narrator questions the listener about their perspective on the relationship they share: “Has it all just been a game? Has it all just been a figment of my mind?” Other poems, such as “Hope,” use the title as an acronym for the poem’s content. The poems depict different stages of a couple’s relationship from exciting beginnings to devastating conclusions.

The collection makes use of poems with different structures and themes. Some poems celebrate beautiful memories, others are tragic while some are emotional. The poems also vary in structure; some are lengthy, others are brief, some are question poems while others are narrative poems. The combination makes the collection engaging and absorbing. I loved that the moments portrayed in the poems capture the narrator's emotions, which are evident throughout the collection. Feelings of hope, longing, fear, desperation, or sadness are among the emotions that are present throughout. For instance, in the poem “Smile,” the man is enchanted by the woman’s smile while both are caught in the moment in which they cherish each other. Beautiful photographs also enhance the poems as they indicate the tone and emotions in the verses. Dreamt by D.T. Caldwell is a creative and engrossing collection of love poems.

Lesley Jones

Dreamt by D.T. Caldwell is an inspirational, powerful collection of poetry that examines relationships, life, and love. As we travel along our unique path in life, every experience we have is necessary and will teach us a valuable life lesson. Whether to build moments of joy or move us closer to attaining our aspirations and dreams or simply learning more about ourselves. What if you allow fear to hinder you from opening your heart to new challenges? This collection reminds us of the importance of living life with no regrets of what could have been. Filled with beautiful photography, each poem examines the emotions of trauma, love, hopelessness, and disappointment. A life lived to the fullest, with no word of love unspoken or chance not taken is a life of wonder and joy.

Every poem in this compilation will encourage you to live a life that is full and without fear or regret. The poems are short but the message behind the beautiful words will pack a thought-provoking punch. I loved the use of metaphors and the style of the poetry flows effortlessly. Dreamt by D.T. Caldwell will appeal to anyone who needs that daily dose of motivation and inspiration to live a joyous and meaningful life. The photography is absolutely stunning, visually vibrant, and supports the poetry perfectly. There were many poems that evoked real emotions within me but my absolute favorites had to be the chilling Footprints, What If? and Their Closure. I feel every reader will find a poem that will speak to them on a personal level. What a perfect gift this would make to anyone who has so much potential but allows fear to inhibit them.