By: Sherrill S. Cannon Publisher: Strategic Book Publishing & Rights Agency, LLC Publication Date: September 2018 ISBN: 978-1949483208 Reviewed by: Anita Lock Review Date: November 2018
Award-winning author Sherrill Cannon provides plenty to ponder in her next installment of poems of love and loss, A Dime is a Sign.
Before Cannon’s poetry turned into book form, they were first used for other purposes. While some poems focused on personal reflection, the majority were designed to offer counsel to teens and comfort to friends who were going through difficult times in their lives.
As with her first book, A Penny for Your Thoughts, Cannon’s newest keeps to the same “Love & Loss: Coin Toss?” framework with three sections earmarked as “Heads—Of Love and Friendship,” “Spinning—Of Related Emotions,” and “Tails—Of Heartache and Anguish.”
Cannon’s love-and-loss theme is a wonderful balance between human’s mercurial emotions and God’s mind-boggling, unconditional love. A true wordsmith, Cannon first- and second- person writings capture the sentiment of wherever love (or the lack thereof) leads in particular situations. Her creativity expressed into one-hundred-plus poems are made up of sonnets, haikus, blank verse, free-form verse, quatrains, and couplets, to name a few.
Cannon’s human-interest poems delve into areas of the heart. Her words are clear as she candidly and deftly conveys the highs and lows of love. Examples include closeness to loved ones; joy (across the board); the beauty of nature; the tenacity of God’s love; encouragement; and the freedom that comes with various “love” breakthroughs.
Opening with the bulk of her work, Cannon immediately draws readers in through her uplifting words, sending an inferenced reminder that we are not alone in our experiences of happiness and sorrow as we travel on this love journey. Parts two and three keep to words of encouragement while weaving in related emotions, such as hurt, anger, false love, and fear of rejection.
Much of her poetry is designed in sonnets that lean heavily between Shakespearean sonnets and Petrarchans. Of course, Cannon does not confine her talents to these forms of expression. As mentioned earlier, she explores other methods. One such example is an hourglass poem titled “Self-Condemnation,” which begins and ends the same and can be read from top to bottom or vice versa. Here is an excerpt:
“Hypocrite! Damn you to the ends of your false world! Strip away the blind self-righteousness from your mind; Tear down the wall of martyrdom around your heart; Wake up and see yourself for what you truly are: A selfish, immature, thoughtless mediocrity.”
Another is “Before,” a syllabic poem that decreases with each stanza. Here it is in its entirety:
“Before I met you, My life was full – I was happy And content … But now I know What I Missed.”
While Cannon’s work contains powerful messages pertaining to love for readers to ruminate on, she hopes that A Dime is a Sign will also open the doors to healing.
Quill says: A Dime is a Sign is thought provoking from beginning to end.