Sunday Book Review – A Kiss for the Worthy by Frank Prem #Poetry

Welcome to my Sunday Book Review. Today I’m reviewing the second book in Frank Prem’s love trilogy – A Kiss for the Worthy.  Frank has taken a piece of writing from Walt Whitman – Leaves of Grass, and transformed it into a newfound form of poetry by rewriting Whitman’s lines, expanding and incorporating into his own new poetry.





Houses and rooms are full of perfumes,
the shelves are crowded with perfumes,
I breathe the fragrance myself and know it and like it,
The distillation would intoxicate me also,
but I shall not let it.. . .

from Leaves of Grass

Drawing on the phrasing of Walt Whitman’s great late 19th century poem Leaves of Grass (above) Frank Prem has produced a collection of expansive and outward looking love poetry written, as always, in the unique style that allows every reader to relate.

Prem’s interpretations breathe new life into contemporary exploration of themes of love in poetry, and utilise Whitman’s original phrases to inspire a contemplation of the self in the context of landscape and the wider world:

and as they open
I realise
they are filled
with sweet perfumes

golden glory

wafted aroma

from a house filled (with the sensual)

a kiss for the worthy is the second of three collections that together comprise A Love Poetry Trilogy, with each revisiting outstanding work by stellar poets of the past to produce vibrant new collections. The first collection, walk away silver heart, draws on Amy Lowell’s deeply personal Madonna of the Evening Flowers, while the third, rescue and redemption, derives from T.S Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.

This is a new kind of poetry that tells stories, draws pictures and elicits emotional responses from readers. Just as the best poetry should.


My 5 Star Review:

This is the second book in Prem’s Love Trilogy. Prem has taken from Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass and once again, transforms his own version of thoughts and feelings putting his own creative spin on Whitman’s poetry by taking in and evoking the simple joys of life, love and nature.

Three of these poems stood out to me: – Clean (This soil, my air), transformed from ‘From this soil, this air’, Prem goes deeper – ‘A bootprint in the sand, breathing my own air – a cleansing’. And he takes the poignant line from  ‘Born Here (an immigrant son)’, transformed into – ‘Born here of parents born here from parents of the same, and their parents the same …’, the author shares his own lineage on this controversial and au current topic. He continues – “Sing me a song of an immigrant, on the road – sing me the song of a traveller, I will join you in the chorus, for I carry, that same dusty weight.”.’No to Espresso’ gives us a stunning conversion into the realms of addiction to the coveted java – which Prem expands on in stanza, elaborating on how caffeine affects.

Prem leaves us much to both savor and contemplate with his altered perspective on Whitman’s work. A mixture of emotion and perspective, cleverly re-wrapped into engaging bite-sized stories with robust meaning.




bitmo live laugh love




40 thoughts on “Sunday Book Review – A Kiss for the Worthy by Frank Prem #Poetry

  1. That’s a lovely review for Frank’s book, Debby. I’m one of those awkward people who try to avoid all perfumes and fragrances, as they make my neck constrict and I sneeze!


    1. I’m not a big fan of perfumes either, Stevie.

      Some natural aromas though, are an instantaneous transport to a place or sensual experience. I like those, well enough, mostly!



    1. I very much enjoyed the challenge of incorporating the image or emotion that the original poet conveyed into a thought and idea of my own. Referencing without being subsumed, while still creating.

      That was the kind of aim I had when doing these.

      Wonderful fun to do.



    1. It’s critical, I think, Claire. There has to be a musicality within free verse to allow it to flow easily.

      Line breaks, pauses and syllables, to create a reading shape – something like that, in any case.

      Thank you.



  2. Ooh. I liked Frank’s book based on the Coleman poem. This one will be crossing my kindle at some point. Thanks for sharing your review, Debby. I’m certain to agree with you.


    1. Diana, thank you.

      I’m delighted you enjoyed Walk Away Silver Heart. Such a pleasure to work with the phrases and moods of these wonderful poets of the past.

      Hope you enjoy A Kiss for the Worthy as well, should it come your way.



  3. Brilliant review for what sounds like an amazing book. I am not a big reader of poetry but I love the idea of revisiting well known works. Having studied American literature, I’m quite fond of American poets, so this collection sounds particularly appealing.
    Thanks for the recommendation and congratulations to the author.


    1. Thanks Olga. I do enjoy some poetry, both reading and writing, especially the syllabic poetry Colleen runs weekly, but I’m really enjoying this newfound poetry style now <


    2. Hi Olga.

      Thank you.

      I can only agree with you. I think poetry has dug itself into a bit of a pit on its journey, by neglecting the need to convey meaning for the reader. A lot of the responses I receive are along the lines of ‘I don’t usually read poetry …’

      That seems to be the big challenge. To persuade folk that reading poetry – some poetry at least – is worthwhile. Much for someone like myself to muse on.

      Regardless, it has been a pleasure for me to be able to muse my way into and through the work of these stellar poets of the past.

      Thanks for stopping by.



  4. Hi Debby,

    Lovely review of Frank’s book and I’ll be adding it my list for reading. The concept of him putting his own spin on Whitman’s poetry as you said is intriguing. Thanks for sharing! 💗


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