I have the honor of featuring Miriam Hurdle’s Songs of Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beautitude on A Better World of Books. The collection was chosen as the solo “Medalist Winner” in the Poetry category of the 2019 New Apple Summer eBook Awards. It has also received much praise from its extensive readership.
Although I have never met Miriam, I have followed some of her posts through the world of blogging and had heard of, but had yet to read, her poetry collection. After I downloaded the Kindle version of Songs of Heartstrings, I hardly put it down. As I read it, in basically one sitting, I felt a deep feeling of kinship and empathy grow within me through the author’s words and images.
The reader soon learns Miriam has endured her share of life challenges, which include divorce, estrangement (and later reunion) with her daughter, and surviving cancer. These experiences shape, but do not define the spirit of the poet and artist who narrates her life’s journeys through a memoir told with poetry and images.
There are moments when Miriam’s words pull the heartstrings of pathos, catching the breath until the last word is reached. Juxtaposed with this, are poems full of hope and the inspiration of her faith in the Creator and the endurance of life.
I found myself particularly drawn to Miriam’s poetic narratives that evoke her faith, and the inspiration, strength and wisdom she finds in the natural world. Through her lovely photographs, paintings, and words, the artist reflects on the eternal goodness of life that weaves through even its most difficult moments. Mariam’s capacity to find the light inside moments of darkness is a balm for those who may be struggling through their own hardships, or are seeking a greater sense of connection and purpose. I am so glad Miriam has chosen to share her beautiful soul through the spirit of her words and images.
You can get a peak at Miriam’s poetry, photographs, and paintings on her website and on Amazon. I particularly encourage you to read the preface of her book, which can be found through Amazon’s “Look Inside” feature. It will pull you into her world and won’t let you go until you are finished the book. In it, Miriam writes some of my favorite lines in the collection, “Life is born to live. The human instinct, no matter how faint it is, seeks the tiny window of light that sheds the warmth to bring the heartbeat to meet the desire to survive.” Miriam’s life is a testament to this desire, which is mirrored in each word she writes.
There are several wonderful reviews of Miriam’s collection on Amazon, and I have chosen two to share here:
“In some ways, Hurdle’s collection of poems reminded me of a memoir. The book is divided into “Songs” (sections) that cover different aspects of her life’s journey. Among them, the author touches on her love of nature; her reflections on relationships, marriage, parenting, cancer treatment; and her remembrances of the people who were meaningful in her past. The poetry is complemented by Hurdle’s photos and artwork. This gentle book provides an afternoon of peacefulness as all of the poems reflect the author’s innermost heart. One of my favorites is a villanelle entitled “I Sat in my Garden.” I highly recommend this collection for readers who enjoy a glimpse into a poet’s life through her words.” — D.W. Peach
“I asked my husband to buy me this book and I couldn’t wait for it to arrive. As soon as Miriam’s book arrived, my intent was to do what I always do and read a few pages to see what it was going to be like. I couldn’t stop reading it! I read it in one sitting. This is a book that I will certainly read again, and again. It is wonderful. It is beyond wonderful! A few poems made me cry, but there were many more that were such a blessing to read. Miriam’s book stirred such emotions with each turn of the page taking me on a journey through her life. All I can say is it is just amazing. The black and white pictures show well, so does the artwork. The book is more than a book of poems. It is a walk through Miriam’s life, her struggles, triumphs, faith and her family. Miriam was expressing, and telling her life stories in each poem. I love it. Great book.”– Gary Ewell
If you would like to learn more about Miriam, or to follow her on social media, you can find her at:
The Showers of Blessings (her website)
Are you an author with a vision for a better world? Do you have a published book of poetry, fiction, or nonfiction that uplifts and empowers readers to create a more positive inner and outer environment? If so, I’d love to hear more about it. On a “Better World of Books,” I interview authors and review books of all genres that offer a vision for a better world. If you think your work is a part of this vision, please contact Alethea.