Reading Words To Breathe By left me amazed at how unequivocally appropriate the title is. The poems contained within the pages of this book work to refresh mind and soul. Losing myself in the imagery of nature and emotion, I felt as though I had taken a deep, cleansing breath of crisp air—a breath that quickened my spirit. Truly, these poems are words to breathe by.
I am no poet myself, and I claim to have no particular skills for analyzing poetry in any sort of academic manner. Dactyl, spondee, and anapest are Greek to me. The ideas of meter and stanza are not facets I pay any attention to when experiencing poetry. But I can read, and I can feel; and I believe those to be the only prerequisites necessary to get caught up in the enchanting words that James penned in this short but potent book, and to experience—truly sense—the beautiful refreshment in its messages.
While enjoying Words To Breathe By, I was impressed by the realization that these words, which renew and refresh me today, are not at all anchored by time and will be equally fitting and powerful when read 5, 10, or 50 years from now. One poem in particular (“Rain”) struck me as especially appropriate for the current day; yet upon a second reading, I appreciated how time will never limit this poem’s magic.
Whatever the daily battles, whatever the emotional debris, I believe James Richard Hansen’s poetry in Words To Breathe By is both a cleansing rain and breath of fresh air perfectly suited to renewing the spirit. I know our whole world could be improved if only we all had the opportunity to get lost in James’ poetry and allow its healing power to revive us.