I met Justin Blaney the author of Where Whispers Willow, and he was kind enough to give me an early copy of his book when the title was still The Whispers Willow.
I admitted to him early on that I tend to shy away from poetry books. I prefer novels where the story feels epic and character development is crucial. I hadn’t given poetry a try in a long time, but I was excited to read Where Whisper Willows. Especially because I was experimenting with poetry myself.
Blaney was quick to explain from the beginning that he didn’t feel his writing was poetry, essay, or philosophical. He described his book as such:
“Verse, Prose, composition, expose ~ nothing quite fit. Until I stumbled on the word reverie. Reverie is a day dream. A musing. A single thought. This described, better than any other word, the scribbles I’d been jotting down.”
Where Whispers Willow was unlike any of the poetry books I remembered from school. It had character development, and a deep, thoughtful story. Each reverie was a single moment, but bound together, revealed the life of Blaney. So many emotions were portrayed in his writing. His eloquent musings were incredibly honest and true. Blaney’s knack for expressing universal thoughts through his own contemplation makes his writing relevant to everyone. His ability to reveal our own musings on life, death, love, and God makes Where Whispers Willow an emotional and deeply satisfying read.
I would like to leave you with one of my favorite reveries.
what do souls look like?
how easy is it to tell the difference between the soul of a homeless man smelling of urine and shit, yelling at passers by
from the souls of those who pretend he doesn’t exist
what makes a soul’s stench?
what makes it beautiful?
are all souls born the same in their beauty or are some created with defect?
or do defects add something unique and precious?
can we artificially make our souls more beautiful with tattoos or plastic surgery?
are we all soft somewhere deep inside or can we make ourselves permanently and unchangeable hard?
what do souls sound like?
do they bounce about and twirl when happy?
do they puddle when sad?
are some more talented, gifted, luckier, richer, born with better genes?
or is it in our souls that we are truly equal?