Brightness from the Shadows
By: Jon M. Nelson
Publisher: Tate Publishing
Publication Date: May 2015
Reviewed by: Diane Lunsford
Jon M. Nelson delivers an uplifting compilation of poetry and offers his audience hope and positive inspiration in his latest body of work, Brightness from the Shadows.
“Human Condition” is a broad subject matter and Nelson breaks it down in sections. In his book’s opening many stanzas fill the pages with the focus on children and how very important they are in his life: ‘A Child Is… precious and should be treated as such… is the future and should be shown the way…’ Nelson has devoted the first 40+ pages to his take on the importance of children in our lives. He uses his basic (and signature) language to communicate a heart-felt message and does so with a positive tone to his written voice.
This book is not all lollipops and cotton candy, however. There is a section titled ‘Human is Falling’ that is devoted to the gradual decline of humankind. One of the poems, Crimson Rain, appeared in Nelson’s first book (Reflections of Life) and was used then in a context of war. The beauty in poetry is its subjectivity to interpretation and if used via a different platform, the essence of its meaning can take on a whole new light and deliver new ‘food for thought’ perspective. In Reflections I recall associating the overall premise of Crimson Rain to war. In Brightness, however, I found myself associating the message and meaning to the constant and unnecessary acts of violence: ‘...I look down and cry at this dreadful sight, for all of this suffering just isn’t right...’ The recent (and unnecessary) raping and pillaging of the City of Baltimore came to mind for me.
Even in the harsh realities of life as we know it today, however, Nelson refuses to paint a maudlin picture of woe and destitution. Rather, he continues to raise his audience to higher limits with his insistent connection with God in the book’s section titled: For God and Country. He leads his audience by the hand down his all-too-familiar military path. Nelson is an active duty soldier and in this portion of the book, his words exude the message of his heartfelt love and pride to serve this great country of America. Bond of Brothers is a strong message of the importance of working together no matter the individual differences: ‘...We may not have always gotten along, but we knew we were a part of the same fight...at times the bickering was senseless...but we came together under stress, it created a bond that was permanent...’
Similar to Reflections of Life, Mr. Nelson categorically breaks down Brightness from the Shadows into specific topics/themes. He feeds his positive messaging to his audience in tiny, bite-sized pieces in order to savor the varied flavors of hopeful inspiration. Nelson has a distinct style of using basic English that allows the reader to absorb the message without scratching his or her head trying to figure out lofty and outrageous words. Nelson has done an admirable job of assembling a body of poems that offers up a little something for everyone. Brightness from the Shadows is the perfect addition to anyone’s nightstand.
Quill says: Read one or two poems before turning in for the night. It’s the perfect remedy for completing the day on a positive note.