by Melody Lee ǀ @melody_lee_poetry_junkie
“My biggest fear isn’t that you’ll break my heart, darling, but that the world will break yours.”
Liz Newman’s debut book, Hope Between Heartbeats is soul candy. Liz has a way of making something so simple so very beautiful. She delivers poetry with a punch. Articulate and powerful describe the little gems in this book. I find myself opening up Hope Between Heartbeats when I need a reality check or a dose of inspiration. Liz’s words feed my soul.
Hope Between Heartbeats is divided into four sections: Life, Love, Loss, Learning. Liz writes of struggles we all have, with an underlying message throughout that there is always hope no matter what our personal trials may be at a particular time in our life, and there is always beauty to be found, even on our darkest day. She brings to us comfort through her words, helping us feel a little less alone and encouraging us to never lose our sense of wonder, to never lose sight of the bigger picture, to never lose hope.
When I read Liz’s poems about storms and fear and chaos, instead of being weighted down with melancholy or being transported into the writer’s darkness, as often happens with me, her words uplift and inspire hope. Her spin on these topics is to help the reader find beauty in the chaos. The book title, Hope Between Heartbeats, is perfect for the theme throughout all four sections.
“We could learn a thing or two from nature, who thrives on chaos and disorder
Who finds a way to make disaster beautiful, with no discomfort with the unpredictable”
Some of Liz’s poems simply take my breath away in their powerful simplicity, like ‘Nature’ (poem above), from her Life chapter, and probably my favorite poem in this collection.
Another of my favorites is ‘Me’ from her Love chapter. “I want a love that doesn’t scare easily. That can see my scars my demons my pain and still see me.” This poem is honest, straight-forward and power-packed. It’s real, it’s raw. In love, let’s be authentic, with all our flaws and imperfections. Let’s not run when things get complicated. Let’s not run when we open up to each other, instead let’s embrace each other for all that we are, including the “ugly” parts; the demons, the scars, the pain. Love is not flawless, but we learn to love the flaws in each other, as we recognize true beauty comes from being authentic, not hiding parts of ourselves that we feel aren’t as radiant or beautiful as other parts.
I will close with a poem titled ‘Rainfall,’ from the last section of Hope Between Heartbeats:
“Something about the rainfall and the way it makes the earth new again / Nurturing Cleansing / Gives me hope that the storm within may do the same for my soul”
Best for: Inspirational reading
Buy for: A loved one for Christmas or birthday present
Buy it if: You enjoy reading encouragement and inspirational poetry
You can also connect with Liz on Instagram ǀ @liz_newman_writer
Reviewed by Melody Lee ǀ @melody_lee_poetry_junkie
Melody is a published poet, online blogger and features writer and an avid reader, power-walker, wine-enthusiast, foodie and collector of adventures. When Melody’s not drinking coffee, running her social media sites, reading novels or writing her next poem, you’ll likely find her exploring one of her nearby nature trails in North Florida, USA.