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Monday, February 16, 2015

pop-we Reviews Richard Jaffe's Inner Peace and Happiness Reflections to Grow Your Soul

I overheard an adult say that what mattered to her at that stage of her life was peace. I visited her home in my late grade school years and shortly after turning 18. At both of those periods, her life seemed to be peaceful to me as her financial situation was comfortable and her home life seemed good. Yet, I know she had been through a lot of pain in prior years. It is not always easy to pinpoint a period time when an event happened in my mind. The way her comment struck me, I think it was the first visit in my later grade school years. I do not think peace was something I thought about in my late grade school years although I can recall feeling like I was almost floating on air after confessing my sins that were pretty minor to the Catholic priest during what I think were my grade school years or possibly my seventh grade year on at least on occasion while attending Holy Name Grade School in Omaha, NE. By the time I was a high school graduate, I knew what it was to long for peace. In the years that followed high school, I have known sweet peace and the absence of peace. Sometimes I have felt peace that surpasses understanding. I thank God for the blessings of peace he has given me.

After reading from, “Inner Peace and Happiness Reflections to Grow Your Soul” by Richard Jaffe, I have reflected further on the role of peace and happiness. I do think that real happiness is often accompanied by peace. I know there are a lot of counterfeits posing as peace and happiness that often have dire consequences.

Jaffe shares his emotions in verse about what has brought him happiness and peace in this life and encourages the reader to connect with their own sources of peace and happiness as they read his poems. While I may appreciate diverse types of poetry, the two types of poems that I seek out the most are uplifting poems and whimsical poems. I am a fan of Helen Steiner Rice who is known as the "Poet Laureate of Inspirational Verse” and feel that Jaffe offers similar positive messages. I believe it is best to fill up on edifying verses. Jaffe’s works have also done good for my heart and soul. I became aware of his work through google+ as he has a group for poets to post their uplifting pieces. From what I have experienced at the group, he is very supportive of poets.

The introduction by Jaffe shares background about his life and breaks down the stages of his life and how this applies to the sections of his book. In my study of Literature, I was taught that it is important to understand an author’s background in order to better understand his work so I am grateful for his insights as they shed so much light on his poetry. Many of the poems would stand alone with a strong message without the additional background.

The majority of the poems speak of love. The poetry attests to the fact that lost love and also the loss of a loved one who passes away can hurt so much at times because love is worth it. It encourages one to take an inward journey and to have appropriate love of self.

In an excerpt of his poem “Tapestry of Life” he shares,

“For once we love our own soul

As much as the one we desperately hope to find,

We build the inner strength and confidence

That leaves empty loneliness behind.”

Jaffe also encourages the romantic love of his life to also love herself in more than one poem. This is an excerpt from his poem titled, “Everlasting Friendship.”

“But if you learn to love yourself

The Way that you love me,

Your soul will find an inner peace

And a best friend for eternity.

I enrolled in a Literature course a couple decades ago expecting a professor who would further open the literary world to my twenty something mind. Instead, I had a cynical professor who scoffed at short stories and poetry, which were both the crux of the course. There was no indication that he was taking this approach to get us to argue the opposite side. Regarding love poems written by men, he said they were only about physical beauty. In Jaffe’s poems, love is paired in poems with trust and friendship. The poems speak of love that is more than just a physical attraction. Emotional bonds are spiritual bonds are found in the love of which he speaks.

Jaffe and his wife came from good homes where they were taught values and themes of passing this on along with their religious traditions to their children are present in some of the poems. He writes of what he cherishes about his wife and each of his children. He refers to in one poem to his wife as his angel as he asks to also be her angel. He relates that his wife is a compassionate woman. He also tells of the special natures of his children including an animal loving daughter. To me, this is what a happy family looks like!

There are reflections on death and loss and on making a difference in the world.

Each poem has been carefully crafted. As a successful businessman, Jaffe may not be a typical poet. He did spend one year working on his poetry and his golf game. Knowing that walking and exercise can help one have inspiration, I thought this was a great combination.

I have contemplated what it would be like to know everything and have no one to share the knowledge. I cannot imagine a state of complete happiness where you are not able to share with others. Jaffe has truly born his heart and shared what he values most with all the readers.

I have found that recalling my happiest memories are a great source of strength. I have gone to that happy place again and again since I began reading, “Inner Peace and Happiness Reflections to Grow Your Soul.”

-population-we™ blog post by Barb Bohan
© 2015 population-we, LLC 
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