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Listen With Your Heart | Pacific Book Review

Title: Listen With Your Heart
Author: Alvina Y. Platt-Gregory
Publisher: BookTrail Publishing
ISBN: 978-1637673737
Genre: Poetry
Pages: 50
Reviewed by: Allison Walker

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Pacific Book Review

Listen With Your Heart is part poetry collection, part prayer book, and part devotional. Author and poet Alvina Y. Platt-Gregory has written a collection of Christian faith-based poetry, affirmations, lessons and musings. Her poetry is not meant to be introspective, this is loud poetry, meant to be studied and shared. Any reader will find Platt-Gregory’s work easy to follow and understand, and inspiring in its message of faith and trust in Jesus.

For readers, this collection is easy to follow. Platt-Gregory’s poetry references common Bible stories and popular prayers, most of which will be familiar to the average Christian reader. In fact, one of the first pieces offered in her collection, titled “An Affirmation,” references the story of the Plagues of Egypt. Platt-Gregory also draws inspiration from popular prayers, writing creative alternatives: “Blessed are those who mourn/ The death of those who are born/ Their destiny is to die.” In another example, from the prose piece “Pastors From God,” the author writes “The Lord is my Shepherd. He sent me to thee, to be fed, nourished and fill the void in me.”

Listen With Your Heart is not traditional poetry and there is no set form to the poems. Platt-Gregory’s collection is surprisingly but pleasantly diverse. She begins the book with poems like “Jesus, I Want You!” which has a very strict repetition and rhyming pattern. However, by midway through, the author introduces pieces including “Give Me Rest” which, with its full sentences, is hybrid between poem and prose. “No Room to Stray” is an affirmation rather than a poem. “I Will Remember” and “The New One” could fill a condolence or congratulatory card, respectively.

Platt-Gregory concludes her collection with prayers for events such as to receive holiness, break strongholds, and become trusted warriors. The addition cements her book as much more than simply a collection of faith poetry. The author also suggests lists for self-study; for example, five Steps to Salvation that include reading passages from Psalm, 1 John, Romans and Matthew.

This book is acceptable for all ages and may actually be a fun way to involve children in learning more about prayer. The poems, many of which are short and rhyming, would be easy for children to read and recite. For example, the poem “3 G’s to Live By” is about go, grow, glow and flow. Platt-Gregory offers a different way to pray, one that is sometimes playful, and invites creativity and originality to your spiritual conversations and musings. This is a lesson believers of all ages can benefit from occasionally.