Book Reviews of Songs of Heartstrings

Gwendolyn Plano

Reviewed in the United States on January 2, 2021

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One person found this helpful

Reviewed in the United States on January 1, 2021

Esther Suh

Reviewed in the United States on June 23, 2020

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Jacqui Murray VINE VOICE

Reviewed in the United States on August 23, 2020

Miriam Hurdle’s Songs of Heartstrings (2018) is a beautiful collection of poetry, inspired by music and nature, focused on thankfulness. She masterfully blends the two, at times, in the same poem, other times, simply under the same theme. Which works oh so well. I’m a fan of both music and nature (I’m a retired violinist and an armchair naturalist). There’s a resilience and honesty to both, a desire to tell the truth in their very essence. Miriam touches all corners of these worlds, from the grand outdoor sweep to the work of the tiny hummingbirds. Each poem in the collection (or most? I confess–I didn’t count, just noticed lots) includes not only Hurdle’s gorgeous words but a picture to inspire those more attuned to the visual, often taken by Miriam herself.And as I lost myself in the feelings of her poems, I realized she was often sharing personal stories that shaped her life.”The lessons I learned from nature give me hope and provide strength for the tired feet.”
“Nature has a great capacity for healing and surviving devastating destruction.”

“When the night is nigh he starts his day. Spins his web again, again. Again!”

Miriam organizes her poetry into categories like Songs of Nature, Songs of Dissonance, Songs of Physical Healing, Songs of Marriage, and more. Each category includes a multitude of poems. For example, under Songs of Challenge, the poems include Heart’s Desire, Roses, Mortal, Dancing, Stories, and Autumn. Here’s one of my favorites:

“Serendipity It was serendipity we met. Summer had not started yet, it was the final week of school. I went to this group of people who met at a home. We chatted, we snacked. You asked what I did for fun, I smiled, didn’t answer the question, then flexed the arms to show my muscles; under your shirt were bigger muscles. You looked at me with a smile, you worked out also for quite a while. The whole night, I didn’t see other guys’ faces, you occupied my entire mind’s spaces.”

I read this one to husband. His response: “This is life changing verse.”

So grab a copy and read it slowly every time you need recentering.

~  ~  ~
Esther Suh

Reviewed in the United States on June 23, 2020

I really enjoyed reading this book of poetry and in one sitting! I rarely buy books of poems because they can be so hard to understand or follow. But I found out about Miriam Hurdle’s book through her blog and ordered it to show support for a fellow blogger and writer. I’m glad I did!
The organization of her book was fluid to read in following the different stages of her life. Her introduction works as a perfect guide for the reader. Her poems ranged in topics from hope, failure, pain, heartbreak, reflections about family and nature, and some lighthearted ones about animals. My only regret is that I didn’t check out my order in color. Miriam told me about this beforehand, but I didn’t look into it too much. From the black and white pictures I could tell they would be beautiful in color. Thanks Miriam for rekindling my interest in reading poetry!
Mae Clair

Reviewed in the United States on June 13, 2020

The author of this collection of poetry and short snippets takes us on a journey through life—her life—as seen through the music of words and photographs. She shares experiences through marriage, parenthood, the loss of loved ones, even cancer treatments. Heartfelt and often spiritual, the book resonates with strength, love, and faith. There are multiple poems and snippets that touched me, but a few that really stood out are Cocoon-Butterfly, A Tribute to My Dad, and Gratitude for Being. Each reader will no doubt find poems that speak to their heart. Although this collection is a reflection of the author’s life, the beauty and spirit of the work brings something for everyone.
P. Wight

Reviewed in the United States on March 10, 2020

I downloaded Songs of Heartstrings in my Kindle almost half a year ago. Selfishly, I’ve been reading it a little at a time, because I like to dig deep into a poem, savor it. let it simmer within me, then re-read it days or even weeks later. There is SO MUCH in Miriam’s verse and prose. All of her nature poems – trees, flowers, plants, insects – are lovely and speak to the human in us even while describing the flower or the butterfly. The poems she wrote during/about her cancer treatments are so deep and intense – through reading the poems, I experienced what Miriam felt as she dealt with chemo and worry and wonder. The poem about finding her “balance” yogic pose after recovering from chemo was amazing – I believe she is writing not only about balancing on one foot, but finding balance in her life as she recovers. Hurdle’s poetry is relatable to us all.
Reviewed in India on 25 February 2020
This book of poetry really showcases poet Miriam Hurdle’s talent & command over the various forms of poetry. I loved this book & as a teacher of poetry for the past 12 years & a poet myself, I am happy to say that ‘Songs of Heartstrings’ is a collection worth a read. The interior formatting of the book is eye-catching & I love the photographs & other various images placed in the book to bring out the various themes of certain poems. Some of the sketches & paintings in the book have been done by the poet herself & are as gorgeous as her well crafted poetry. My favorite poems in this collection were: ‘Dawn’, ‘Edible Garden’, ‘Punctured Wounds’, ‘Chill & Shiver’, ‘I Love You’, ‘Candlelight’, ‘Gift of Books’, ‘Beach Walk’, ‘Consideration’, ‘Your Own Higher Ground’, ‘Champion’ & ‘Tunnel Of Music’. As you can see from my own favorite titles, the collection contains a variety of themes which are brought out very well by various poetic forms used by the poet Hurdle. Whether it is about eternal love, trying to find your self worth while undergoing painful chemotherapy, finding peace in one’s garden, musing on the slow perseverance of a tortoise, contemplating on musical forms, etc., all these visuals & more you will find & delight in, in this book ‘Songs of Heartstrings’. I especially was moved by the poems related to chemotherapy & recovering from Cancer. I actually could feel the ache & wounds of the poet as she described the way how painful chemotherapy can really be. In fact I felt faint when I read those parts – they were really crafted that well! Music is the food of life is what my culture believes in, & the poet’s similar feelings towards music made my heart soar as I read her poetry. But my favorite poem in this collection was ‘Simple Life’ which I think defines me as a person, living life in a simple way with simple pleasures that makes life beautiful & worth the stay till we move to – who knows where? Another poems in this collection that really made me get the ‘feels’ was ‘Beach Walk’. While reading & contemplating on this poem, I remembered my visits to the beach as a toddler with my estranged father who had rejected me at birth because I was a girl. Those days of walking on the beach as described by Hurdle reminded me of him in a good way & what could have been if the harshness of brutal sexism never had its way. I even was mesmerized by the poem ‘Gift of Books’ because I live to read & read to live, so this poem by Hurdle really made me happy. That is the best part about Hurdle’s poetry, it makes you happy & full of glee even though she is touching upon topics that would in other circumstances be painful. Please read this collection of poems, pick up your copy of Miriam Hurdle’s book today. I look forward to reading more poems by Miriam Hurdle in the near future. I am certainly not done with this book, I will be dipping into it whenever I pick up my Kindle on days when I want to remember how to keep smiling in spite of it all & when I want to remember a few happy times with my father.
4.0 out of 5 stars Hurdle has crafted a magnificent gift that is sure to touch the hearts of all readers.

Reviewed in Canada on February 8, 2020

Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase

Songs of Heartstrings by Miriam Hurdle is a lovely collection of poems celebrating life’s trials, tribulations, tears, and triumphs. The title, Songs of Heartstrings, is most fitting as the poetry and prose read much like a melody of life’s joys and sorrow. A candid reflection of life embraced with gratitude and grace. The photographs and illustrations are a wonderful addition, as they capture glimpses of these precious moments now rejoiced in memory.

Reviewed in the United States on February 7, 2020

I’ve never had much aptitude for writing poetry, and it is not something that I usually read, but Miriam Hurdle’s Songs of Heartstrings touched me. Hurdle shares significant moments in her life through this collection of works. She divides her book into eight songs (sections). It was as if I were a part of Hurdle’s life as she shared powerful pieces demonstrating her faith, rocky first marriage, battles with melanoma cancer, finding her soulmate, and the premature birth of her daughter.

The group of songs that moved me the most were her songs of tribute. This section was more like short stories instead of poems, but they were so moving. She pays homage to her mother and father, who battled separate health issues. Miriam’s recollections of her husband’s best friend, Randy, were so touching, and I felt empathy when her husband, who never cries, sheds tears of pain for his friend’s passing.

Not only did I enjoy this varied collection of poetic styles, but I also enjoyed Hurdle’s photography and quotes from other poets/writers that introduced each group of songs. After reading Songs of Heartstrings, I will be more open-minded to other works of poetry.


Reviewed in the United States on October 20, 2019

I was gifted Miriam’s book during a particularly tough season of life, with my tiny baby in the NICU. Slowly reading through Miriam’s poetry brought peace and calmness to my heart. Her wisdom, faith, hope, and inspiration comes through in each poem.

Given the season of life I was in, I found myself going back to the poem “ Beautiful Tiny Baby” over and over. Knowing the wonderful woman of faith that Miriam’s beautiful tiny baby has grown into not only brought me an amazing comfort that I am grateful for but also reminded me that Miriam’s faith and hope are intimately woven into her – inspiring me to do the same for mine each day.

Reviewed in the United States on May 15, 2019

I wish I could understand the mind of a poet! These were a collection of poems that left me very unsure of what I should think or how I should think. I could only understand and follow the stories of the narrative poems, but all the rest needed the mind of a poet, which I don’t have, for me to understand them.

Poets have a way of telling a long story, short. Some of these were so short I couldn’t wrap my mind around it. This is not to say that these were not great poems. I’m not a poet, that’s why.

Reviewed in the United States on April 26, 2019

A fantastic collection of honest, heartfelt poetry that takes the readers on a journey through good times and bad. She writes about a health scare that could have easily ended her life. She weaves nature, family, love, and faith through her writing. If you love REAL poetry – poetry that moves you, you will enjoy Miriam’s book!
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartfelt

Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 18, 2019

Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase

Reviewed in the United States on April 6, 2019

I loved the story poems which felt so natural. the addition of the images and especially your own artwork which I loved all added to the heartfelt poetry. I felt so relaxed after reading this book. Thanks for sharing.

Reviewed in the United States on March 21, 2019

Songs of Heartstrings by Miriam Hurdle is a lovely collection of freestyle poetry written from the heart.

The book is divided into nine sections of songs that cover much of what the author has gone through in life, from getting married and giving birth, to losing a parent and surviving cancer. Reading this book felt very intimate at times because it seemed the author’s heart and soul went into writing it. At the start of each section the author shares quotes which I liked. I also enjoyed the photographs and drawings that she shared with some of the poems.

I had many favorite poems but “Mom and Dad” are at the top of my list. I loved it because it reminded me so much of my own parents.

A wonderful poetry book by Miriam Hurdle.


Reviewed in the United States on March 21, 2019

This is a collection of poems, photographs, and drawings that tell stories from Ms. Hurdle’s life. They include sitting in nature, giving birth, death, illness, and loss. Faith and being a survivor are strong themes throughout “Songs of Heartstring.” My favorite part was when the poetry connected to nature, but all the poems were heartfelt and lyrical. The tribute to the author’s parents was touching, along with the loss of a friend. The glimpse into dealing with cancer was inspiring. Although this was a quick read, it’s full of depth and can be enjoyed more than once. This is a book that poetry lovers will enjoy.
4.0 out of 5 stars A book of beautiful poetry

Reviewed in India on March 16, 2019

Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase

Reviewed in the United States on March 13, 2019

In some ways, Hurdle’s collection of poems reminded me of a memoir. The book is divided into “Songs” (sections) that cover different aspects of her life’s journey. Among them, the author touches on her love of nature; her reflections on relationships, marriage, parenting, cancer treatment; and her remembrances of the people who were meaningful in her past. The poetry is complemented by Hurdle’s photos and artwork. This gentle book provides an afternoon of peacefulness as all of the poems reflect the author’s, innermost heart. One of my favorites is a villanelle entitled “I Sat in my Garden.” I highly recommend this collection for readers who enjoy a glimpse into a poet’s life through her words.

Reviewed in the United States on January 26, 2019

Songs of Heartstrings is a collection of poems and essays featuring the vast array of life experiences by the author. Miriam Hurdle has encountered both the best and the worst of life through the death of her husband’s close friend, her own treatment for cancer, the birth of her daughter and the close relationship of her parents. Her wonderful joy in life and strong faith in her religion shine through in her poetry and give a lot of insight into her strong spirit and ability to stay positive despite the curve balls life has thrown her way.

This book also demonstrates Miriam’s love of nature and features poems about her garden, a hummingbird and even a spider. Her photographs and pictures are lovely and complement the prose.


Reviewed in the United States on January 11, 2019

Songs of Heartstrings is a beautiful compilation of poems, paintings, and photos that share the heartfelt gratitude Miriam feels. Her poems tell of her struggles as well as her joys in life. Her faith in God and the support of her husband and family helped bring her through very difficult times. These poems are touching, uplifting, and a joy to read.

Reviewed in the United States on January 31, 2019

“Songs of Heartstrings – Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude” is a most enjoyable book of poetry. Told in the first person, Miriam Hurdle takes you along on her many journeys, in the ups and downs, of life. I particularly enjoyed the photos, placed before many of the poems. It brought me closer to what Miriam was relaying in her words.

My favorite poem is “Life’s Currents”. Here, the author reminds us we are never alone, no matter the hardships we might face in our time here on Earth. There is no doubt Miriam has a strong faith and relies on it for many of life’s obstacles.

The book is broken up into eight different sections, making it a very pleasant read. Miriam uses different styles of poetry, so you’re never just reading. She easily gets and keeps your attention throughout. If you are looking for a poetry book filled with inspiration and thought-provoking passages, this is the book for you. I highly recommend this to any and everyone, as I thoroughly enjoyed reading “Songs of Heartstrings – Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude”.


Reviewed in the United States on December 27, 2018

This was an enjoyable book. I envision Miriam Hurdle as a modern psalmist, one who may not be a shepherd of sheep but still has a deep connection with the creation and her creator. This book of songs and tales has an incredible richness and something for everyone. Whether you’re in need of uplifting messages, comfort in times of trouble, or celebration of life, Hurdle has you covered.

Reviewed in the United States on December 12, 2018

Songs of Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude by Miriam Hurdle, a poetic memoir begins with the healing power of Mother Nature, expressing gratitude for the boundless blessings she showers on us. The poet seems to revel in the glory of her garden, blooming flowers, pouring rain, sprouting seeds, and hummingbirds, as she has written about each of them with passion.

Slowly she drifts into songs of dissonance that speak about tides of life, waves that threaten to drown but faith – the ultimate savior holds her firm, strengthens her self-confidence and endows her with the resilience to endure pain with grace. Songs of physical healing reiterate how much the human body can withstand if the mind focuses on hope. Darkness dispels with time and effort is the mute message that Miriam conveys through these songs.

Hurdle also shares her lovely moments of marriage and parenthood. ‘Rowing a Boat’ and ‘Candlelight’ glow with the brilliance of a loving relationship and Nostalgia captures her love for her parents. There are some poems, which would really touch the strings of your heart.


Reviewed in the United States on December 10, 2018

As I woke this morning what came to my mind was Miriam Hurdle’s watercolor in the middle of her book introducing the “Songs of Parenthood” section. In the watercolor, you see the backs of a mother and her child walking away hand-in-hand. The peacefulness of those two summarizes my experience of this book: one woman, since there is always a perspective, and a world of others creating blessings as they walk together through life.

The next poem, “Beautiful Tiny Baby”, presents the story of the author risking her own life when offered an experimental drug that would give her premature baby a better chance to breathe upon birth. That decision focused the many willingly-taken risks involved in giving birth in one decisive moment of “Yes”.

That’s all I could ever want – that watercolor and that poem – for this book to be worth a favored place in my memory.

But there’s more. Here are two others, among many, worth mentioning for their memorable descriptions. In “Chill and Shiver” the author presents her helplessness while waiting for the manifestation of an expected side-effect of a drug. In “Loved and Missed” she describes a neighbor’s tears of guilt and grief at the tragic death of her pet.

Miriam Hurdle’s presentations of the world through poetry, photography, and art are beautiful gifts of awareness.


Reviewed in the United States on December 6, 2018

This book helped me to get in touch with some of the feelings I have had in my life. Life is full of ups and downs. Miriam is able to put into words her life experiences that reflect feelings and emotions. I appreciate that! I would recommend this book for the journeyer in this life.

Reviewed in the United States on December 1, 2018

“Songs of Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude,” is a journey into the mind of a woman who has found her voice in this world through her poetry.

Hurdle splits the book into poetic songs categorized by Nature, Dissonance, Physical Healing, Marriage, Parenthood, Tribute, Reflection, Challenge, and Inspiration. These categories lead the reader on a path to understanding her life through times of joy and sorrow. Her photos and artwork are stunning and compliment her poetry.

For me, reading poetry is like walking beside the poet and stepping into their footsteps, connecting with their experiences in a deeper realm of being. Reading poetry is subjective, so I judge most poetry by how it invokes emotions within me and how it makes me reflect on my own human condition.

The poem, “Healing,” touched a deep chord within me. Yet, there were so many more connections I experienced.

I received this book as a gift from a dear friend. That’s the kind of book this is, one to be shared with others and to be reread many times.

Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 Stars


Reviewed in the United States on November 26, 2018

I asked my husband to buy me this book and I couldn’t wait for it to arrive. As soon as Miriam’s book arrived, my intent was to do what I always do and read a few pages to see what it was going to be like. I couldn’t stop reading it! I read it in one sitting. This is a book that I will certainly read again, and again. It is wonderful. It is beyond wonderful! A few poems made me cry, but there were many more that were such a blessing to read. Miriam’s book stirred such emotions with each turn of the page taking me on a journey through her life. All I can say is it is just amazing. The black and white pictures show well, so does the artwork. The book is more than a book of poems. It is a walk through Miriam’s life, her struggles, triumphs, faith, and her family. Miriam was expressing and telling her life stories in each poem. I love it. Great book.

Reviewed in India on 25 November 2018

Format: Kindle Edition

Reviewed in the United States on November 24, 2018

Miriam, many thanks for such a heartfelt and inspiring book. The verses come deep from your soul: a place of sadness to a place of positive awakening. Thank you for sharing you! You are an amazing writer and very gifted.

Reviewed in the United States on November 20, 2018

Miriam Hurdle, in this wondrous collection of poems, offers readers a very moving, passionately soulish verse that does, indeed, play beautiful music on the heartstrings of life. “Songs of Heartstrings” reads like an anthology of life itself, and is at once both earthbound and heavenly. I cannot hesitate to recommend Hurdle’s work to any and all connoisseurs of poetry, who are sure to appreciate this book as much as I do!

Reviewed in the United States on November 16, 2018

This is a beautiful book filled with heartfelt prose and poetry of thought as observed and remembered by the author. Hurdle gives us snippets of her life experiences through her short and telling poems. This is a unique format displaying poetry and some lovely illustrations accompany some of the poems. The author brings us into her vignettes of time with her tender shares of reflection, shared words of wisdom, and poetic verses of some of her trials and tribulations through life. A beautiful little book you can enjoy in one sitting or refer back to when you could use some inspiration.

Reviewed in the United States on November 14, 2018

I liked Miriam’s book very much. Aesthetically, it’s cover is very appealing to the eye, going further to give the reader a mild inkling of its contents. The reader can also expect to find lots more beauty than mere words can offer. Miriam has intertwined her own photographic creativity on a number of pages. I found them engaging and rich in sensory ingredients which held my gaze, and gently enabled me to sequay into chapter after chapter of quotes, prose, and what Miriam refers to as, ‘beautitudes.’ There’s plenty of “songs” to draw the reader in, cause immediate reflection, encourage resonance, personal gratitude, and sorely needed pause. Therefore, I highly recommend buying your paperback or Kindle copy of Songs of Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude!

Reviewed in the United States on November 3, 2018

The restorative power of nature and the infinite love of our Maker resound in Hurdle’s poetry as she explores themes ranging from love, loneliness, loss, and trauma to healing, grace, forgiveness, and hope. “Songs of the Heartstrings” is a powerful poetic memoir. ~Bette A. Stevens, author of award-winning picture book AMAZING MATILDA and other books for children and adults