Carol Lynn Pearson: Beginnings
Carol Lynn Pearson stated that it was her husband’s determination that laid the foundation of her career. He loved her poems, and took them to various publishers only to be told “poetry doesn’t sell.” Borrowing money, her husband Gerald published two thousand copies of the book titled “Beginnings”. The book buyer for BYU bookstore agreed to take twenty copies on consignment. The next day she called saying “those books you brought up here—do you have any more of them?”
I first became acquainted with Pearson’s poetry in 1969. The poem “DAY OLD CHILD” appeared in the volume of “Out of the Best Books” that we were studying for our Relief Society cultural refinement lessons. I was a brand new first time mom, and this poem expressed the exact things I was feeling. As I looked at my tiny daughter I wondered—if my baby could talk, would she tell me of God? This poem has always been one of my favorites.
This small book contains fifty-six poems, all very thought provoking. For the purpose of this review, I will mention those that spoke to me the loudest. I especially enjoy her poems which express the love of a mother for a child, which give comfort to the soul of someone who has lost a loved one through death, which express faith in a loving God, and thank Him for the beauties of the earth.
“BEGINNINGS” tells of a loving mother whose child brings her a bird egg. This discovery becomes a beautiful teaching moment… “As I told you of beginnings…you and I child have just begun…we who are seed of diety.”
“INVESTMENT” reminded me that things we work for mean the most… “The easy gift is easy to forget, but what is bought with coin of pain, is dearly kept.”
“THE LESSON” spoke of tough love—loving someone enough to make them do for themselves.
“NATIVITY SCENE” tells of a parent pointing out to a child that though the tiny Jesus, the lamb and the star are clay, “as you’ve seen stars…heard sheep, one day you’ll know and hear and see this Jesus too, in reality.”
It was good for me to read “GOD SPEAKS TO ABRAHAM”. I’d always felt that it was a cruel thing for God to ask Abraham to sacrifice his only son. Then I read…“I needed one who could understand. There will be another lifted on the hill of sacrifice…none shall stay death’s hand to save My son.” Needless to say, I’ve gained a new perspective.
Several of the poems would bring comfort to someone who has had a loved one pass away. “GOD SPEAKS” tells me that death is not ugly. “If you knew the beauty…you would run with open arms into eternity…but sad is a harvest of green wheat.” “OF PLACES FAR” compares knowing a place exists because we got a postcard from there, to knowing heaven exists because we know someone there. “POINT OF VIEW” is just that. Our perspective depends on where we are standing. Where one sees the sunset, another will be witnessing the sunrise. “What’s birth…death…it all depends on where you are.”
I have often had an overwhelming feeling of gratitude when witnessing the beauties of nature. For me, the poem “THOUGHTS IN THE CHAPEL” expressed this…“How I will greet thee Lord…I do not know…watching the sunset or the sea, I can at least rehearse.”
When I read “A NEW DIMENSION TO FAITH”, I thought of my mom. She once said to me, when going through yet another trial, “I’m sure that in the preexistence I said Oh!, I can handle that!”
Years ago, I heard the poem entitled “PRAYER”. I’ve never forgotten it and often repeated it since then. If I feel out of tune, I know “when the lines fail, there is no doubt which half of the set is out.”
Perhaps, I feel out of tune due to some “GUILT” that darts “like static through my prayer.”
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The author has a talent for packing deep meaning into few words. Though it didn’t take long to read, its messages will be long remembered.
After we posted Patty’s book review, I emailed Carol Lynn Pearson a link to it. This is what Sister Pearson responded:
Thanks so much, Mike! I’m very grateful for the good words of appreciation in your blog. If you are able, please let your readers know that most of the poems from my early books are now available in the compilation Beginnings and Beyond. Signed copies are available from my website http://www.clpearson.com/.
Many blessings on this good work you are doing!