by James Ten Eyck

Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite

James Ten Eyck’s Footprints is a poetry collection penned over two time periods, decades apart. The author draws on the experiences of his own life and world events to paint a vivid tapestry of life through these enchanting poems. “The Elegy for One and Many” is a moving poem in remembrance of a dear dying friend and those innocent souls who lost their lives during the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre in 2018. “Newton Plus Five” honors the memory of the victims of the Sandy Hook school massacre. In “Dublin Bay,” the narrator recalls memories of his first visit to Ireland with the love of his life. The importance of making amends for past wrongs is shown in “The Men On Horseback.” The poem “Democracy” asserts the need to uphold democratic values in the face of the rising tide of autocracy all over.

Footprints is an enthralling collection of poems that recount the experiences of an observer of life. James Ten Eyck uses free verse poetry to tell stories from his own life and describes momentous world events that shaped modern history. With his poems, the author revisits places around the world and sheds light on relevant social issues while traversing themes of love, war, bigotry, justice, and more. In a couple of poems, Eyck also highlights the growing political divide and calls on people to protect democratic values and preserve the fabric of a free and secular society. Overall, Footprints feels like a deeply personal collection, yet it touches upon universal themes that most readers can relate to. I thoroughly enjoyed it and can’t recommend it highly enough.