May 15, 2019

Book Review and Tour: Phoenix: Transformation Poems by Jessica Goody

Phoenix: Transformation Poems
Phoenix: Transformation Poems by Jessica Goody
Published March 1, 2019, CW Books
Genre: poetry


What appealed to me most about these transformation poems was the rich and imaginative language of the poet - the sensory words, metaphors, similes, and other devices used to describe her observations and convey her feelings and her ideas.

In "Bitter Tea," an illicit flirtation between two people reveals their true relationship at the tea table. "The tea was bitter with betrayal" because of their secret. "The spoons rang," "the ice clatters," "Her summer dress like stained glass," "She tickles his ankles with her painted toes." All the senses are at play here, as the reader is caught up in images of taste, sound, sight, and touch that convey the feelings of the two lovers.

In "Blue Rhapsody," a description of a group of musicians at play, "Chords twinkle in the air like stardust." We have a mixture of sensory images that Goody uses in almost all of the poems in her book, to a very effective degree.

The poet is very conscious of each and every word she uses and her images are new, impressive, and extremely effective. In "Along the Amazon," she describes the jungle:  "Dense trees draped with rope-thick vines /winding among green boughs, concealing/the snakes that lie within,...  I was pulled into that jungle, seeing and hearing it vividly.

Jessica Goody excels in description, pulling in readers with her use of words to capture the senses. Her poem "Jazz" is inspired by the works of Henri Matisse, one of my favorite artists because of his use of color, shape and form to pull the viewers in. Goody manages to do the same with her use of language to transform words into feelings and images.

I enjoyed reading her poems very much. This is a collection that I will keep close by on my reading shelf.

About the collection:

The sideways glance, the quick turn of the head, the sudden look up: these provide Jessica Goody's angle of vision into the fleeting experience of the world that is captured and rendered in her lines.Phoenix: Transformation Poems consists of 70 poems, a mixture of free verse, sonnets, and haiku. They cover a wide variety of subject matter, but the main theme is transformation--the triumph over pain and trauma and the resilience of the human spirit.

Early Praise:

“Through language and emotion, Phoenix: Transformation Poems  connects the soul of the poet to the soul of the reader and takes it on a wondrous journey through the rich intricacies of the mind and heart. Jessica Goody paints with a brilliant palette of words that fills the senses and emotions with vibrant images of her special universe of joy, pain, love, mystery, and fulfillment. Phoenix is a rich triumph and marks its author, once again, as an artist whose work should be followed closely by those interested in the forces shaping the future of American poetry.”
-Harvey Trabb, co-author of September 19

About the Poet:
Jessica Goody, poet

 Jessica Goody is the award-winning author of Defense Mechanisms: Poems on Life, Love, and Loss (Phosphene Publishing, 2016) andPhoenix: Transformation Poems (CW Books, 2019). Goody’s writing has appeared in over three dozen publications, including The Wallace Stevens JournalReader’s DigestEvent HorizonThe Seventh Wave,Third WednesdayThe MacGuffinHarbinger Asylum and The Maine Review. Jessica is a columnist for SunSations Magazine and the winner of the 2016 Magnets and Ladders Poetry Prize.

Thanks to Serena M. Agusto-Cox for a copy of the book for this tour/review
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  1. I am so glad that you enjoyed the collection. Her images are astounding. She talked about Matisse's inspiration for "Jazz" at Diary of an Eccentric (

    It's a fascinating post.

    Thanks for being on the blog tour.

  2. I didn't expect to see a Poetry book. Thanks for sharing it.

  3. I enjoyed reading your examples from and descriptions of this book. It sounds like the poet paints with words. Terrific review!


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