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Reviewed by Melissa Tanaka for Readers' Favorite
Wendy E. Slater’s poetry collection, Of the Flame, is an in-depth exploration of one’s own mind and a separation of the ego and the self. Many of these poems revolve around the feeling of desire, while others leave you reeling on the edge of something that you just can’t quite put your finger on. Like Emily Dickinson, Slater’s individual poems are untitled, but numbered. Doing so allows for easy transition between poems, thus enabling readers to easily flow from one into the other.
The poems are dynamic on the page, slowly inching across lines and creating a sense of movement that is reflected within the text itself. While many of the poems are short and condensed, there are some poems that are more lengthy. Slater demonstrates an ability to successfully write both, and the combination of the two creates a strong collection. In addition, some of these poems feel timeless, as though they echo through history with thoughts and feelings that have lasted lifetimes, while others add a time stamp through the use of pop culture or historical events. One of my favorite poems is 1528, which combines references to The Last Supper with the feeling of AstroTurf, thus reminding readers that the past and present are perhaps not as far apart as we think.
As a huge fan of poetry, I enjoyed reading Of the Flame and allowing Slater to take me on a journey. Some of Slater’s works are sculpted like powerful slam poetry, made even more so when they are read aloud and delivered with an auditory punch.