“Will this road ever end? Will this road ever be clear? Will he make it to the end of this road, to his destination?” – from The Wanderer

A rose by any other name would still smell that sweet, and a book of poetry called The Red Rose is just as sweet as the flower itself.

Blossoming out of the life and experiences of Cassandra Rivett comes a collection of poems tackling the pain and joy, beauty and bleakness, solitude and community. The Red Rose is the first collected book of poetry put out by the Canadian writer. Arranged around the idea of a rose, Rivett shares not on the reality of life, but also the hope that she has in Jesus Christ.

Be ready to have your heart touched and spirits lifted as you journey with Cassandra Rivett through over 50 original poems. You will know the prick of the thorn and the sweetness of the smell when you read The Red Rose.

“While we sleep, The weak grow weaker, The hungry continue to starve, The hurting break down. While we sleep, The world passes by, The widows’ tears never stop, The orphan shivers alone.” – from While We Sleep

Poetry is a very subjective work. Someone might love one piece, while another person might not. It really becomes about how well the author can reach through the written words and connect with you emotionally. If they can covey an experience or an idea, and you relate, then the poet is doing their job. Cassandra Rivett has given it everything she’s got, and done a fantastic job.

I was surprised by the number of poems that I connected with. While I am not a big poetry fan, it was a powerful experience to hear someone else speaking about my own experience. Having a writer put words to my feelings, even at time, my life, was haunting, but also reassuring. The Red Rose is about the human experience, about life, and taps into that realness. Cassandra’s writing encourages those that are suffering that they aren’t alone in their feelings. It gives hope to those that don’t feel like trying any more. These poems bring conviction to those that have quit when they should keep going.

It is also quite awesome to see a Christian write poetry. I find it a modern take on the psalms of the Old Testament. Cassandra has some poems that are very similar to David’s ancient songs; soul bearing, emotion driven, then ending with reflection on God, on Jesus, on the end that He is Lord over all. (I wouldn’t dare try this myself, but I can easy see some of these turned into proper worship songs.) I wish that there were more poems like this available. I think Christianity would greatly benefit from such honest emotion examination and spiritual movement to God.

This is her first published work of poetry, something to be admired in its own right. It isn’t easy to publish something as personal as a book of poems. I am not saying that this book is on the same level as the great poets, Shakespeare or Poe, for such stylistic prose. But I am not so ignorant to judge something as subjective as poetry by some imperial ruler. Poetry must be judged by itself.

The Red Rose is a fantastic opening to Cassandra Rivett’s poetry career. I look forward to seeing where her writing takes her, and hopefully we will all be invited to join her on the way.

“My love is deep and my friendship abounding. My heart longs for you, to spend time with you. Come to me; walk with me.” – A Whisper from Jesus

As her first published work, Cassandra Rivett has torn out her heart and let it be the ink on the page. There is not hiding her feelings or life experiences. That raw honesty makes it that much easier to come alongside her, with our own feelings and life experience, and join her in a journey forward. If this is what her first try at published poetry is like, I’m excited to see what comes next.

I give The Red Rose a 4 out of 5 star rating.


You can get your own copy by following the link

Westbow Press

Amazon.com/Amazon.ca

Chapters/Indigo

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