Universal Defiance by Esther Franklin

A collection of twenty-seven poems, Universal Defiance by Esther Franklin is a work that delves into the spiritual development of the human condition by relating it to the world around us. By examining the soul in terms of small everyday occurrences, and in comparing it to the cosmos in faraway space, Franklin’s poems offer a wide range of ideas and testimonies. The poet claims that we are born lost, only to find ourselves on the journey that is life, causing our belief systems to form in their own unique ways. The poet came up with the idea for this collection after experiencing a very common problem, and by thinking about how to resolve this issue in her life, she realized that we are all connected, and thus, affecting one another and the universe at large in a variety of ways. Exploring such themes as society, religion, self-worth, and the physical world, this collection of work offers a wide range of thoughts for the reader to ponder over.

Poems about issues like ‘Jealousy,’ ‘Strength,’ ‘Judgment’ and ‘Discord’ are intermixed with poems entitled from nature like ‘Water,’ ‘Air,’ and ‘The Surface’ thereby creating a sort of pattern to illuminate both the human spirit and the obstacles they have to overcome in this life. Franklin has a way with organizing her words into poignant and memorable stanzas, eliciting out both emotion and clarity from the poems that she so lovingly constructs. In conclusion, the collection rests on one final piece called ‘Endings’ which is a fitting title for the close of this work, as it asks the reader to contemplate what it is that we are all really searching for.