Book Review

From Dust to Stars – A Small Book of Poetry

Anyone find poetry overwhelming?

Would you like to read a small book of poems without a dictionary on hand or a history professor on the line?  Would you like to sit down with a cup of coffee and finish both within an hour?  Do you like pictures with your poems?  With good photographs, not sentimental slop?

Yes?  Then I found the perfect collection for you.

From Dust to Stars

Jake Frost recently wrote and published a slender volume of poetry called From Dust to Stars.  (Click HERE for it on Amazon.)

He has an interesting little bio that I found online:

Jake Frost is a lawyer in hiatus, having temporarily traded court rooms for kitchens and depositions for diapers to raise his pre-school aged children. He comes from a large family in a small town of the Midwest, and currently lives near the Mississippi River with his wife and children.

From it, I gather that he’s a stay-at-home dad.

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I love the cover, for I’ve always been a lover of the stars.

As I said above, I like this book for its great pictures and short length.  My baby happened to be sleeping, so I was able to read it straight through in one sitting.

This book reads somewhat like a short history book, beginning with biblically themed poems and then moving on to saints and angels.  My favorite of the former is Shiphrah and Puah.  This story comes from Genesis and tells of the two midwives refusing to obey Pharaoh’s command to kill baby boys born from Hebrew women.  This story has always struck me as funny because of those faithful midwives.  For in Frost’s words, the midwives say to Pharaoh,

“There is nothing we can do,
Before we even come
Their labor pains are through
And they hold their new born sons.”

Those robust Hebrew women sure do know how to have babies quickly!

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I’m not sure if you can see the photos here of the burning bush and St. Catherine’s Monastery in Egypt?  They’re great.

But my favorite poem might be The Ones Who Went Before.  It laments that we often forget the great people and courageous deeds that went before us.  Frost writes:

Then the stones were raised to mark the days
In remembrance evermore
Of the darkness stayed and the price once paid
By the ones who went before
But the sands of time swirl and blind
And weather the graying stone
Till worn away like a passing day
More is lost than known
And tales once told in hall and hold
In time are told no more
Like shadows in shade, memories fade
Of the ones who went before

Maybe it’s the melancholic in me, but I find this poem very true and beautiful, and yet frightening for the times we’re currently living in.  For our tales, our Christian tales, are now forgotten by many people.  Sigh.

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Again, a great photo on the opposite page explaining Saint Bees Dragon Stone.

In the end, this is a good little book.  And it would be good for your children too.  Maybe you’re studying the Old Testament and would like to read poems on Abraham, Joseph, and Jonah?  Or, maybe you would enjoy reading about the terrible English reformation?  (There are poems on such men as St. Richard Gwyn and St. Thomas More.)  Or, maybe you’d like a new poem to read on Christmas morning?

Parting Note: I love that he gets dragons right.  They are always evil and ought to be destroyed.  Deo gratias.