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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.