Wordsworth had defined poetry as “the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings; it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility.” This statement has proven to be correct in all time by many different poets. There can be no other definition more accurate than this. Joseph S. Spence Sr. proves this correct in his poetry volume, “Sincerely Speaking Spirituality”.

On the surface, the book seems to be merely a collection of poetry writing. But on looking into the poems closely, the reader can understand that there is a lot more than just simple poetry writing. The cover of the book in itself comes as a solace giving image firstly, with the image of Jesus being shown in the sky and all earth beings on the land. This includes not only humans but also animals. Somewhere, this suggests the poet’s idea of harmony between humans, animals, and nature. The touch of the color blue completes the image and gives relaxation to the mind of the reader. Even if he is stressed out at all, he gets ready to open the book and read through. 

The foreword and the preface, in the beginning, serve to be a fine introduction to the poetry volume. They highlight the remarkable talent of the poet and how he has attempted to impart his acquired knowledge and wisdom from his travels and shared it with his readers through his work. The preface defines poetry as “The World’s Dynamic Process”. This can be interpreted as a modern take on the definition of poetry based on the discretion of present-day writers. Also, there is an elaborate discussion on “Poetic Prayers” in the preface. This seems like an appeal of the poet to the readers to not run after worldly, materialistic pleasures and rather take the path that would bring them closer to God and nature and hence give them much more tranquility. In a brief forward by Rev. Brady E. Coleman, he writes,

“Like a cup of cool water to one who is thirsty, I hope that this poetry book gives you spiritual refreshment and rejuvenation.”

This becomes a clear indication of the refreshing experience that this volume of poetry is going to be for the reader.

The poems are divided into 5 sections. He explores the different sides of his poetry writing kyu in these 5 sections. In the first section, he explores the spiritual side. In the second section, he explores his evolved genre of Poetic Prayer. In the third, he explores his invented poetic forms. This is perhaps where he has experimented the most and shows the influence of the literary canon on his poetic style. Section four has epulaeryu poems and section five is more of a poetic glossary. 

The beauty of Spence Sr. lies in the fact that he does not follow any definite poetic meter and chooses to write as per his natural ability. There can be short poems like “Church Dinner” or “The best taste” and at the same time, poems like “Your time has come” or “Concluding Prayer”. This only adds and makes his poems appear much more original and a treat to the lovers of poetry. At times, his poems in “Sincerely Speaking Spirituality” are very short and crisp and sometimes they become equivalent to a prose text. The poet writes some very beautiful lines in poems like “Mothers” when he says,


“Resting a child’s head, they simmer

a cry with such a hush.”

And in “Covenant Made”,

“The mandate was laid. 

A covenant with God made 

To share and persuade. 

His love came down upon us. 

Blessing others in His trust!”

His dramatic monologue, “Escaped in a basket: Paul Bringing God’s Light” is on masterpiece which reminds the reader of Robert Browning.

The presence of the power of God pervades almost all the poems and it keeps on making the reader feel positive about everything around him.

At the same time in the majority of his poems, the poet keeps the reader informed about the verse form he has used while writing that poem. This educates the unaware reader at the same time. This will make sure that the audience reading the poetry volume is much wiser and beyond literary people. Grown-up people are much more likely to find interest in reading the poems as they are not just about simple reading, but understanding the thought of the poet too.


Author Name:  Joseph S. Spence, Sr.
Book Title:  Sincerely Speaking Spiritually 
Publisher:  WestBow Press (February 21, 2020)                               
Review by:  
Akhila at Criticspace   
Print Length: 138 pages

3 thoughts on “Book Review – Sincerely Speaking Spirituality by Joseph S. Spence – Criticspace Book Review in India

  1. Greetings and thank you very much, Akhila, for the awesome review. It’s greatly appreciated and will be remembered. The proliferation of your inspirational and uplifting words speaks to your great accomplishment so far along the way in your service to humanity on a worldwide basis. I love the looks of this post and the publication of your book review from Criticspace. It reads very well and give justice to “Sincerely Speaking Spiritually.” That’s quite an accomplishment about your creative writing and review skills. Keep your beacon shining with wonderful words of inspiration for others to see. This review deserves others to seek your assistance. May you be blessed with more books to review, and the uplifting of others so they too may see the light and strive to be their best. Great job. Have an awesome day, don’t forget to pray, stay encouraged, inspired, ingenious, resilient, and blessed always!
    His Excellency, Dr. Amb. Prof. Joseph S. Spence, Sr. USA. (Epulaeryu Master)!
    William Shakespeare’s Poetry Award Winner, Multi-Genre Award-Winning Poet, Man of God, Global Icon of Humanity and Spiritual Services, Global Chair Advisor for Global Literary Society-India, World Peace Ambassador of Human Rights, Humanity, and Diplomacy, India’s Praṇāma, Dedicated Research Scholar, Eloquent Book Reviewer, Effective Academician, Honorary Advisor of The World Parliament of English Literature-India, and Stellar Article Writer.
    Book Review:

  2. It’s a great pleasure for me to read these divine pearls from the pen of a great poet ,Philosopher Joseph Spencer Sr .I pray to God and encourage to all readers to read this extraordinary book of literature .In my opinion ,”True literature represents valuable life full of sweet and bitter experience .” These pearls are original and written by writer with mastery of language . It is full of aestic divine light and pleasure .My mystic soul feels that this book can be helpful for the service to mankind .
    My best to my dear poet as well as the entire team of Publication .I hope that lovers of literature will enjoy spontaneous overflow of emotions .

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