An exploration of the many peaks and valleys of manic-depression is what readers can expect from Rolling Water's Dark to Light: Struggle of a Manic-Depressive. Her journey is one that is paved with darkness, madness, loneliness, and despair. These experiences are what inspired many of her dark poetry and prose that reflects the real-life suffering of a woman with this mental illness.
Darkness is not all that defines her. Through the darkness, she has also found the strength to break away from the bondage of her illness. Her journey of stepping away from the shadows of her illness gave way to enlightening poetry about the beauty of life and the hope that can be found even in the depths of darkness. Through these poems, she expresses her gratitude to God, who gave her a new perspective on life. God has been the light that has beckoned her from the darkness and into His warmth.
In Dark to Light, Rolling Waters writes about her experiences freely. Her poetry is not restrained by "standards" of writing. Hers is poetry that flows freely and with the courage that can only come from living one's truth. This reflects the authors own beliefs - that one should write in any style they choose. The poems in Dark to Light stands on substance and emotions. It is written to express the authors own truths but is also recommended for those who are searching for their own light.
When one first begins to read this book one cannot help but be brought to tears from the harrowing suffering of the poet but ends up with smiles as the dark gives way to light verse! There is HOPE for this illness and this writer found it in God and God's good creations! A MUST READ for those suffering or who know someone who suffers from the illness. Truly Inspirational! My favorite poems are "Down On My Knees", "We Are Family", and "I Climb"! The raw honesty and courage in the writing shows forth in these deeply intense pieces of works! Wow! I have been enriched by reading this poetry collection and I have a better perspective on the illness now. It helps me to understand my love one and what she goes through! Again, a MUST READ!
This inspiring book of poetry takes the reader through one woman's struggle with manic depression and her ability to transcend the pain and emotional turmoil the mood disorder renders. The book opens with the poet's stance on poetry itself in "Freedom For the Words" where she states, "Whatever drips down is what I say--." Her last poem, "Just Words," reiterates her approach to poetry. Rolling Waters does not conform to traditional writing standards, which makes her poems so honest and real to the reader. The book follows with a set of poems that are rather dark, such as "Of Madness," "Can't Find My Way Home," "Down on My Knees," and "Help." In the midst of much despair, the imagery of Waters poems is powerful. In both her "dark" and "light" poems, she uses a lot of imagery from nature to describe feeling states. For example, in "Can't Find My Way Home," Waters expresses, "Tripping and falling/ Over snowflakes/ I merge with the nighttime sky;" In her transition from darkness, she writes the poem, "Red Roses." It opens, "I felt a gust of wind/Sailing through the air/ And reaching out its arms/It enveloped me right there." Her latter poems are a recognition of her new perspectives on life that are filled with hope and promise. Especially noteworthy are, "This is Life," and "A Blessed One." I would recommend this book not just to people struggling with manic depression, but people who understand the human condition, with all its ups and downs.
—Veronica A. Lippencott
Review by Lauren Scribner