A Tender Force of the Heart
by Melissa Joseph
With the sparse simple elegance of a contemporary poetess, Melissa Joseph created A Tender Heart, her debut book of poetry that is intensely visual in its imagery and tangibly soft and warm in its emotions. Joseph is the author of the deeply touching memoir about her therapy dog, Moments with Baxter. But readers will also find healing and companionship in A Tender Force.The book of poetry has chapters on Connection and Disconnection, Insight, Suffering, Sensibility and Sensuality, where you’ll find poems with the kind of imagery you starve for when you need to see great paintings, or beautiful sunsets. There are perfectly loving moments throughout the book, like in the poem, “Making Love” Joseph writes, “it was an unveiling, before my eyes, whose weight pushed open my heart,” and other strong imagery like “clashing hard against ink marker red, penetrating to a cloud of sky grey, then to a bluish mood and an enviable green.” All proceeds from the sale of the book go to NIMH, the National Institute of Mental Health.