Morris’s voice is conversational yet conversational, touched with song, nursery rhyme, scripture, and the occasional “o my,” all in what used to be called “the American grain.” Her poems are often upbeat, even insistent, on commonsensical truths like good manners and the Golden Rule. She urges cooperation (in “Cooperation”), moving past “foolish prejudices'' (“Get Involved”), and treating people well (“A Friend” advises “Prove yourself friendly and you'll have a friend.”)
Her devotional work, by contrast, acknowledges “Dark Days” and the “interruptions and disappointments” that make perseverance a challenge. Yet even as she faces troubled times, Morris finds and shares comfort: “God is not to blame /For man's course of action,” she notes, and reminds believers “So don't let trouble get you down/ Remain faithful and wear a Crown.” Her faith, optimism, and championing of simple gifts is especially refreshing all these decades later, when such voices are vanishingly rare.
Takeaway: Devotional verse and celebrations of the everyday, all in the commonsensical American grain.
Great for fans of: Leland Ryken’s The Soul in Paraphrase: A Treasury of Classic Devotional Poems, Jay Hopler and Kimberly Johnson’s Before the Door of God.
Design and typography: A-
Marketing copy: B+