Review: Wanderings & Sojourns – The Songs & Verses

Wanderings & Sojourns: The Songs & Verses

                             J Scott Songs & VersesAuthor: Jim Scott

Gold Stars 4

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars


Genre: Nonfiction/Poetry/Memoir

Poetry is a refined art not easily crafted and not as widely read as prose.  Yet, when reading Jim Scott’s collection of Songs & Verses, the stories the poems are built around are written in such a way as to make the reading effortless.  As you progress through the varied topics it is clear that travel and the sea are at the core of this man, making this extension of his memoir a seamless transition from his first two books.

Lovers of life, adventure, and romance will find pieces of themselves scattered throughout Scott’s verses.  With poetry it is not uncommon to like some facets of a poet’s works and not others.  However, with 80 offerings in this volume, I found myself directly connected to over half in their entirety.  Other poems grabbed me with a simple line, like in the poem Wrecked, “Of prison made from striving to be free.”  The juxtaposition of ideas and the simple truth expressed weighed more on my heart than the poem as a complete entity (although this was one of my favourites).

The formatting of this collection is simple, yet elegant.  A famous quote introduces each piece, not only grounding the reader in poetic tradition but emphasizing a strand of thought to entice interest.  The poems are spacious, easily allowing the reader to savour an idea or turn of phrase without feeling held back or bogged down with the visual weight of words.

But poetry is a fickle mistress and while the writing of it will capture and encapsulate moments from many other lives, it is clear that these are Scott’s Wanderings & Sojourns and occasionally a disconnect cropped up as I read.  Some of his experiences were difficult to internalize, even as his character grew and developed with each piece.  And what I found troublesome may be what another reader loves best, but unlike a work of prose this subjective nature is a fluxuation that is very real.

Content aside, there were also a number of poems I tripped over as I searched for the rhythm and cadence.  And many of the songs, while seeming delightful dalliances, did nothing for me except to reinforce Scott’s playful side.  However, poems such as Dark Caribbean Rum and Getting There do a better job of illuminating this side of his personality, and connecting to an audience.

Without a doubt though, Scott has developed a collection of work that reaches young and old, sailor and landlubber alike.  His poignant words weave a tale of love, loss, and adventure not to be missed.

My personal favourite is Hurricane Tree… what will be yours?

Review by M.J. Moores, OCT. Author. Editor. Business Owner.

*    *    *

Jim ScottBorn in England, raised on the banks of a river in the Sussex countryside, Jim Scott from a young age developed strong spiritual connections with the natural realm. He wasn’t to understand this until much later in life when this realization explained the somewhat unique atavistic philosophies that evolved from his extensive travels and often ran against the grain of mainstream thinking.

A single father of three, Jim now lives in Canada and spends as much time as he can in the British Virgin Islands where two of his children were born and where, out of all the places to which he has wandered and in which he has sojourned, he feels most at home.


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