In this, her debut collection, Millicent Ally sets out to interpret her wide and sometimes painful experience of "this earthly animation . . . in the four sections [she] categorize[s] as 'Life,' 'Love,' 'Introspection,' and 'God'."
A Los Angeles native who was reared in Georgia, Ally shares, in the 14 poems that comprise each of the four sections of her book, intimate details of betrayal and triumph: love gone almost right - and love gone inexplicably wrong; faith - and the crisis of its utter lack; the loving light of family - and the dark shadow it can cast. Listening, we find ourselves understanding loneliness, friendship, isolation, and despair until, ultimately, Ally brings us to the truth of the spirit that allows her to transcend all the pain of her deep humanity.
"Spirit is the cradle from which we are born," she writes, and, having lived, "...we yield to the paradoxical Omega to which we must return." For Ally, all that occurs in between birth and death occurs solely for our deepest learning, nothing more - nor less - than "experiences which help us to gather information for our souls' collective evolution." For her listener, there is comfort to be found in Ally's conclusion.
©2009 Millicent Ally (P)2012 Millicent Ally
The author seems to be very young, and her work lacks the reflective maturity demanded by such a title. Three-quarters of the poems are about falling in love or losing a love, and most of the rest are shallow (but pretty) metaphysics passing as religion. From the reading it is hard to tell whether the pieces are poetry or prose; while there are some intriguing phrases, there are no evocative images or metaphors. The "music" is just background accompaniment -- pleasant but possessing little character of its own. I prefer to be encouraging to young writers, but there really is very little to recommend this work.
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