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How to Quench a Thirst Born in the Wilderness: Poems for the young woman
by Ophelia Brown
August 9, 2012
Breathtaking in their range of subjects yet remaining always graceful in their immediacy, How To Quench A Thirst Born In The Wilderness is a striking literary celebration of life, the self and womanhood.
Poems for the young woman dealing with the ins and outs of love, belief, and finding herself.
Feelings of isolation and losing one’s sense of identity are not uncommon in a world that puts a premium on superficial pursuits. In How To Quench A Thirst Born In The Wilderness, author Ophelia Brown invites readers on a poetic journey of rediscovering the self.
T.S. Wilkins describes this poetry collective as “a book that dares you to explore life mentally and emotionally and is a strikingly bold adventure through a woman's heart, mind, and soul.” It contains mostly free-verse poems that feature imagery, sensory wording, metaphors and simile. The poems are by nature feminist and uphold the woman as a creator of love and as taking an active part in her own destiny. Together they form a brilliant and inspiring portrait of a woman on a poignant quest to ease her thirst and who, ultimately, discovers a life-affirming knowledge of self.
You Found Me
I’ll tell you where my body lies,
Point to my scars
And tell you the truth
When I put on my wedding gown
I hope they don’t see the marks.
When I lay with you, I hope you don’t cringe
At the raised skin on my hip
From the day I crashed through the glass shower door
Skin glimmering with little specks of glass
And shards jutting from my side.
I’ll tell you where I lie—
In a garden in the park on a summer day
Thinking of you
And how you found me.
The truth is that I finally fought for something
For what I believed
Broke the vase against the coffee table
And commenced to battle
With my progenitor
Back on the floor with ceramics bearing into my shoulder blade
A gash on the back of my hand that I don’t know how I got
Which leaves a scar looking like the eye of Ra
Yes, I am beautiful, but I’ve had some bad experiences
I have only the story to tell, and my love to give.
T.S. Wilkins Review: Absolutely Wonderful!
“How to Quench A Thirst Born in the Wilderness by Ophelia Brown is not only a stunning book of poetry, but an absolutely profound work of wisdom and soulful honesty. There is a journey to be taken between the covers of every book, and Ms. Brown takes us on a journey through the emotions most of us have felt before but perhaps we cannot quite explain them. Perhaps such emotions have been passed off as a mystery, but this elegantly honest book of poetry unveils such passionately hidden truths about love. Love in all of its moments of joy and heartache can be felt throughout her strikingly affectionate work of poetic art. My favorite poems are, “Roses (or the lack thereof),” “I Love You Too,” “A Midnight Walk,” “Saintly Hands,” “Fire From a Midnight Star,” and “Kool-Aid Mona Lisa.” I have many favorites, and I am certain that any heart willing to take the journey between the covers of this wonderfully written book will have many favorites of their own.”
Adrienna Turner's Review
Once I saw the title of the book, I was intrigued to read it to quench my curiosity. As soon as I opened the pages, I could feel the compassion that the author felt for young women who are in uncommitted and unhealthy relationships in the first section of the poetry book (Encounters). Ophelia Brown may be sharing her own past experiences of heartache, not receiving the love she longed for in her past relationships, and heartbroken overall. Many young girls can relate and have been either naive or vulnerable to the meaning of love. I see this book for 18+ mature young women.
This is one of the first poetry books where I was captivated and sympathized with every word that I read of a hurting woman especially seeking for love in all the wrong places. These poetic words sung deeply in my soul (mind and emotions); which made it harder to chose my favorite ones. Finally, I concluded that in the section entitled Celebrate Myself had motivating and encouraging poems to continue to celebrate your feminist side or uniqueness. There were life-altering and life-changing with affirmation poems in which I loved the most: Requiem (p. 148), Midnight Walk (p. 31), and Once Tangled Wings (p. 131). The most compassionate and sensual, somewhat erotic ones were found in Colorful Nights. Overall, the shorter poems touched my mind and heart the most that were enriched with passion, sweetness, and bit of bitterness from past hurts or emotional pains which humankind is able to get a grasp of their own existence. Lastly, some of the selected poems (to my likings) in the section called Creator and Created were geometrically, mathematically interweaves God with His creation so symmetrically how it all aligns to His magnificent being.
How to Quench A Thirst Born in the Wilderness by Ophelia Brown is a book of poetry from a sad place within the heart. The journey is of constant loss, heartbreak and letdowns. I wish I could find a way to heal the broken heart and the deception that cause so much pain. As the verses continued on a positive growth could be seen, only to slip right back into the abyss of loss again.
I enjoyed reading the innocence of a child missing her mother in "Rare Moments (for my mother, Jane)." The child, like many of us, did not care about much, however it took the loss to make her realize "...that those/Precious moments were rare." In "Listen to Mommy," the poet writes about instances in the past where she wished she had chosen a different way of life. Things like "Stay(ing) close to Jehovah;" and "Hoping it's not too late." The latter resonated with me as I feel some choices I made in the past I realize now came way too late. I also liked the lamentations found in "Re-craft," "Poetry" and "Truth."
I did not enjoy the repetitiveness of the topics; the abusive ex-fiancé who was a thief, the loss of the mother and the unfortunate loss of an unborn child. Reading these made me sad as I went inside my own head with wonderment of if the person hurt would ever be healed? What could I do to help her overcome a life of grief? Toward the end, I realize How to Quench A Thirst Born in the Wilderness was written in the stages of pain, loss and remembrances. This was the healing process. I hope the ache has dulled, but the memory lives as a stepping-stone to move in the direction of happiness. I recommend Ms. Brown's poetry collection to individuals who have experienced acute loss and wonder if the unsettled feeling in their stomachs, caused by their significant other, is a sign that they need to run far away from them. I also recommend the book to poetry lovers.