Elephant Wisdom

Poetry on Science, Religion, Division & Loss

Christian - General
123 Pages
Reviewed on 01/18/2022
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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Elephant Wisdom: Poetry on Science, Religion, Division & Loss is a collected work of reflections and poetic verses in the Christian, spiritual, and emotional subgenres. It is intended for the adult reading audience due to some of the more serious themes it discusses and was penned by author M. Gail Grant. As the title suggests in its own cryptic way, the work covers taboo subjects centered around the difficulties of dealing with loss, grief, and death, including the death of young infants. Through different experiments in verse and narrative, the author allows thoughts to flow freely on often-repressed topics to enable readers to access these ideas for themselves.

This is the kind of book that readers won’t know they absolutely needed in their lives until they’ve read it. Whether you’re a poetry fan or not, a Christian or not, even a spiritual person or not at all, author M. Gail Grant has crafted a fully accessible and observational work of emotional philosophy that helps connect our minds to our feelings and break away from the chains of polite society. The subject matter itself is brave and unabashed, and this is complemented by superb wordplay and immense narrative quality. The free verse elements were some of my particular favorites because it felt like you were in a direct conversation with someone who has felt grief deeply and can relate to and accept others who are going through the same thing. Elephant Wisdom is a highly recommended read for anyone who wants to explore loss in a safe and open space.

Erin Nicole Cochran

Elephant Wisdom by M. Gail Grant is a poetry collection that covers a lot of high emotion territory. It’s impossible to read even one poem without feeling something that comes straight from the gut. The poet speaks from a wealth of life experiences and that life is turned into shared moments with readers she has never met but reaches out to with her life story of pain, loss, and love of God. One of the poems that struck me the most was on page 42 from the poem Persuasion: “humankind has paid for the sins of one man and one woman, inflicted by the venom of snakeskin.” That is such a visceral image and it shoots right up into my soul.

M. Gail Grant’s Elephant Wisdom is a collection of poetry that does more than just speak the language of emotions but also projects an element of extra artistic nature. Many of the poems are not streamlined in their form. On page 29, the poem Holding On, looks in the shape of a knife or a cross, perhaps symbolizing both since God and a knife are both mentioned in the poem itself. What I loved most about Elephant Wisdom is how brutally honest the poems are. You don’t have to wonder if something is being hinted at; Grant means what she says and says exactly what she means. Elephant Wisdom is Grant telling parts of her life story, all the good and the bad that can come from being born.

Daniel D Staats

M. Gail Grant has authored engaging poems in Elephant Wisdom. They range in topic and lift the spirit. Even her poems on babies who returned to heaven are designed to comfort the parents. Her poems concerning nature and science require some contemplation. In some of the poems, God comes through as the Great Creator. Gail believes that science and God co-exist in harmony. Gail’s poems even take on Satan and his evil intent. The second part of the book broaches the sensitive subject of death. She deals with death with compassion and sympathy. She delicately conveys God’s perspective on death. Take your time reading each poem, contemplate it, and let it sink in for the best results. This is not a book to rush through. It might be most effective to read one poem a night and then think about its meaning and how it affects you.

In Elephant Wisdom, M. Gail Grant shares her works of art in the form of poetry. It is easy to see she has endured hardships, death, and cancer. Yet, Gail has worked through grief and shares her understanding of hope for those who hurt. Gail’s writing is especially touching when she deals with the death of her dad and the death of a baby. Unfortunately, too many people linger in grief and disbelief after a disaster. Gail seeks to help those working through their pain to walk victoriously, knowing God is in control. She has been there, done that, and come through shining on the other side. Gail has faced and overcome the elephant in the middle of the room. Doing this has given her great wisdom that she shares with her readers.