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Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite
Karma Wept by Joan Wiley is an anthology of the author's original poetry. The collection totals over two dozen pieces broken into four distinct parts. These include Devils, Death, Disillusion, and Dreams with work that ranges in tone tenor, length, and even formatting, from the weaving of a woman's illicit coercion that brings forth a newborn child in part one's "Angel" to the prose poetry conveying the dramatic descent of a poet who believes their work is toxic, but soon has its true power revealed by a crip's incantation in part two's "A Poet's Heart." Others, such as part three's "Burn," deliver a clipping, eight-verse piece about severe animosity of one that fuels another, and part four's airy and beautiful transition to lyrical love in "True Romance."
Joan Wiley sharpens the quill and truly does wield it with the talent of classical poets in Karma Wept. Poetry is far more subjective than any other form of writing, but for the most part, it's clear to those who know it when poetry is good and when it is not. Even if it doesn't resonate personally, there is a depth revealed that sets it apart. You can walk through an art gallery and feel the quality of work. The same can be said for Wiley, who possesses the clever complexity to effectively use allegory and blend it with rhythmic schemes. A fantastic example of this is in "Mike Versus the Devil," where an evildoer believes he's outwitted the architect of evil until he realizes his folly and cries, “There’s been a mistake! I want to file a complaint. I’ve been cheated. To suffer is not my fate!” I loved this anthology and would give it a whole bucket of stars if I could.