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Quintessence: The Poetry of True Nature

3.44  ·  Rating details ·  104 ratings  ·  52 reviews
In Quintessence: The Poetry of True Nature, author and teacher Sara Priestley continues her longtime exploration of both knowledge and experience, moving through reflections, emotions, and inner dialogue to reach a fuller recognition of the abundance of being. She frames this journey using the five fundamental elements of the universe as themes, grouping poems using the ...more
Paperback, 118 pages
Published April 2nd 2019 by River Grove Books
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Average rating 3.44  · 
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Karissa Fast
Apr 05, 2019 rated it liked it
These poems are similar in length and presentation to Rupi Kaur, and similar in subject matter to Rachel Hollis' self-help books (sense of self + spirituality). They are easy to grasp and quick to read. I expect that a lot of people will enjoy this book.

Coming at it with a literature background, I was a little disappointed. Any time I pick up a book of poems I hope for something to chew on - something to work through. The subject matter of these poems did encourage personal introspection,
...more
Lori
Sep 13, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This collection by a new-to-me poet contained poems in a variety of lengths and alignment. I liked the poems with somewhat shorter lines more than those that had very long ones. Many of the poems dealt with feelings or man's nature rather than being poems about the natural world. I'd hoped more would deal with trees, flowers, birds, and the like. My favorite poem was "Building Sandcastles." I received this book through a GoodReads giveaway with the hopes, but not an expectation, of a review.
Heather
Mar 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a beautiful collection of poetry! This was enjoyable and fast paced. I didn’t want to put it down until I was finished. I will most likely read this several times during my lifetime. This collection is all written based off of nature, but as anything else that is written you can interpret the true meaning of the poetry to anything you feel. I will read anything else she writes and that says a lot coming from a fellow poet.
Anna-Karen Sorensen
Jun 30, 2019 rated it liked it
I enjoyed the free feel to the poetry, very close the depth psychology in leaning. I feel I would are it between a 3 and a 4.
Annie McDonnell
I found quite a few of these poems to be rather redundant and some fell flat for me. But the ones that were really good made the book worth reading!! It is a very easy read! I loved the formatting of the book, that was genius!
I won this copy from a Goodreads Giveaway.
Courtney
May 21, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
When I started reading "Quintessence," I was looking forward to a quick read that I was going to be able to really think over and gain something from. This collection did deliver as a quick read, but I was left feeling that I had missed out on what could have been a very engrossing poetry collection.

The summary tells us that this collection was written to make us experience something and to hopefully lead us to understand more about ourselves. The apparent goal of these poems is to make us
...more
Jonathan Choi
May 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
We are as a race exceptionally busier than we were at any point in history. Through the marvels of technology and Moores' law, we have achieved superhuman levels of productivity, comfort, health, and material wealth than at any other point in history. It's a common refrain that is often used as a mallet to beat down any narrative for change. We have come to this point as a species because of the innovation, hard work, and perseverence of the generations of people who came before us. However, ...more
Angelyka C
May 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Won this in a giveaway!

I had a hard time deciding whether I would give this collection of poetry a 3 or a 4, but overall, a 3/5 felt more reasonable to me. While I think that Sara Priestley has a lot of potential as a poet, quite a few of the pieces here fall very flat compared to her stronger works, causing me to feel a sense of disappointment.

A large problem with modern poetry is the fact that it can be overly simplistic, while I believe that poetry should make you think. In addition, I'm not
...more
Julie
I won this poetry collection in a Goodreads giveaway! While Priestley is on one level of course concerned with poetics, I think the primary focus of her poems is upon sharing metaphysical philosophies and insights related to mindfulness and something akin to a Buddhist conception of nirvana. When reading the words themselves without being too concerned with meaning, a mystical and spiritual mood is unquestionably created. With that said, considering my limited knowledge regarding mindfulness ...more
Finley
Apr 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
I received a free digital copy of this book through a giveaway hosted on GoodReads.

Quintessence is about nature, love, and the exploration of identity. It is arranged into five sections based off the five spiritual elements, and whether including them in a literal sense or only the feelings associated with them, the raw energy that they elicit is simple but at the same time deeply relatable. These are not poems written for any sort of fame or accolades. Priestly put her feelings into these
...more
Melissa Hamann
As a whole, this poetry collection is a great idea, and the arrangement of elements is well done and communicates a message to the reader well.
However, much of the poetry feels like it's riding on the "milk and honey," "rupi kaur" coattails of poetry that could have just as easily been Tweets or Tumblr posts and have no real point or prose, but instead convey a vague message to the reader. It is not unwelcome, but prevents us from knowing Sara.
There were some pieces in Quintessence that were
...more
Rubayet  Nusrat
Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful poetry!
I am always looking for nice poetry and i am lucky that i came across this book. there are different types of poetry- some are cheap, some are poetic, some can stirr inner feelings in you and some can heal your soul. I found all these types of these poetry except the cheap ones here!
A poetry collection always reflects the personality of the poet, and i think Sara has an incredible soul who sees things " inside-in".
Poems get better and better as the book comes to an and, The
...more
Melissa
~Disclaimer: I received a kindle copy for free.~

This didn’t resonate with me. The imagery rarely evoked an emotional reaction. For me poetry is all about the emotions and this didn’t do it for me. I suspect that given time to polish their craft the author will improve (there is something here).

Sample:

Turns out I’m not a rough gemstone,
but a flint.
A flint cracked open.
Jagged, raw.
A weapon.
A cutting Love.

“Within” reveals itself in experience.
At the core of experience is the source of
...more
Gloria Zak
Jun 26, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
Poetry

I enjoy poetry. It is like art, some you just immediately enjoy, others you definitely don’t, and others need time to grow on you. And poetry is personal!

Much of this book of poetry is inward looking, from the prospective of “I”. Much did not speak to me personally, some I just didn’t get. there were a few gems for me though :
1. No, it is not okay
2. Flint
3. Hold of this land, but thought the end did not do it justice
4. No words
5. Raging
6. Between 2 thoughts
7. Head to Heart

Enjoyed it
...more
Tracy
Aug 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
I have felt those words

Thoughtful expression in its reflection specifically of “oneness” and love. I resonated with her approach and found it profoundly beautiful even at times feeling a bit of a lament myself. Such a beautiful feeling she captures it well and strongly. I loved this work and found myself smiling and reminiscing throughout her pages. When a poet captures emotions upon paper and it flows like music there it is a talented artist.
Lettisha
Apr 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was really drawn to this cover, it’s absolutely gorgeous. The poetry was pretty well written, although I preferred the shorter poems compared to the longer ones. This is a fairly short read, and there are poems for each of the elements which I thought was pretty cool. If you’re into poetry, you’d probably enjoy this collection of poems.
Maggie
May 21, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I got this book in a giveaway. I don't know why I joined the giveaway, because I don't love reading poetry. But overall this was a decent book. It was cute, not many stood out to me but there were a few I really liked. It took me a while to finish this, even though it was super short. But t wasn't awful, I bet people who like poetry would enjoy this a lot. I think, but I don't love poetry so I have no idea. I liked how it was split off into sections and different elements.
Ri
Jun 28, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 Stars

I won this book in a giveaway.

I love poetry because it has the ability to move the soul. I did not read this continuously, but rather just a few poems here and there at a time. There were some really strong poems in this collection and there were some others that didn't fit that same caliber. However, I think this poet is very talented. I would still recommend it for anyone who loves poetry though.
Skyler
Mar 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc
This was a nice, quick read, with some really uplifting poems inside.
I particularly enjoyed the recurring theme of spirituality and unconditional love.
The author sectioned the book into elemental themes: earth, water, air, fire, or essence.
I also want to say that the cover is so beautiful!

My only qualm with the book is that some of the poems are rather repetitive and it felt as if I read a few of the same poems over again.
Overall, I liked it!
Krista Dolan
May 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: giveaways
I won a digital copy of this through a Goodreads Giveaway (thank you)!

(3.5) Overall, this was an interesting, thought-provoking collection -- some parts might have been a bit to philosophical for my current end-0f-the-school-year mindset though. This one definitely has some meaningful lines that resonated with me.
Sara
May 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is beautifully written

I am a novice to poetry but I did enjoy reading the various poems in the book. Some spoke to me personally and I've kept those highlighted to read again. I'm sure everyone can find at least one poem in here that soeaja to them. I liked the flow from one element to the next. Thanks for the goodreads giveaway.
Kasi
I won this on goodreads in trade for an honest review.

I liked this, more than I had anticipated.

It is a bit repetitive, especially in subject matter, but it isn't heavy handed and I found it entirely too relate-able. Some of the pieces I liked very well.

I would recommend it. I nice, easy, but thought-provoking read.
Amanda Adams
I won this book on a Goodreads Giveaway and was excited to read some poetry. While not all of it struck me as nature poetry I did really enjoy it. Quite a few of the poems resonated with me and I expect that I will re-read quite a few of them. It was a nice cohesive set of poems and work a read if you like poetry, prose, and nature.
Eric
May 22, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways, poetry
Not recommended

The grammar is good, on the whole, but if you are looking for a “fresh new voice” I’d look elsewhere. Nothing new here and worse, little hint of self-examination; these mildly rephrased old monist notions are not questioned, just restated.
This volume received from Goodreads Giveaways in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
Isabel Zamora
The flow

So maybe if I didn’t read the whole in the order it was printed I wouldn’t be expecting a flow. Each one can be read as a solo poem however most poems seem to be the authors musings instead of a poem. With that said there are a couple of really nice poems with beautiful imagery though.
Christina
This is a short book of poems. The poems are fast reads. Some I really enjoyed and some where ok and some left me wanting a lot more. If you want book of short poems this is the book for you. I got the kindle edition of this book from a goodreads giveaway.
Eva
Jun 05, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received this book free from a Goodreads giveaway. I enjoyed this collection of poems and read it in one sitting. I will re-read it in the future and plan to read it at a much slower pace to allow myself to ruminate over the poetry.
Beth
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
Another volume of "PLATITUDES, NOT POETRY." While Priestley's focused on interesting subject matter, simply typing simple sentences with weird line breaks doesn't make something poetry. Educate yourself and TRY HARDER.
Savannah
Jun 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
Some of these were really nice! I liked the way the poems were organized and how uplifting many of the themes were. I felt like some were very surface level, or similar to "Milk and Honey", but there were a few that really hit home. I will definitely go back to some of these again.
Maria
Jun 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who wants to think about what they read.
I don't know much about poetry but I enjoyed this collection. Divided into sections representing Earth, Fire, Air & Water, the language is simple yet thought-provoking. I can see myself re-reading certain poems to continue reflecting on their meaning.
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