Songs of an Indomitable Spirit
by Michael B. Carroll Jr.
Songs of an Indomitable Spirit is the follow-up to Carroll’s 2019 chapbook, The Dichotomy Between Light & Dark. This beautiful, full-length collection is a testament to Carroll’s enduring strength and tenacity, consisting of 31 pieces that explore the peaks and valleys of his life, leaving no topic deemed “taboo.” Songs examines various social and personal relationships forged throughout Carroll’s life, using a musical cadence and the rhythm of sound to deliver a powerful collection that explores themes, such as nostalgia, social injustice, strife, sexuality, love, faith and renewed hope. The common thread throughout is emotional intelligence. How much can one ultimately endure? How does one navigate the challenges of interpersonal relationships? And most importantly, how does one respond to life’s staggering melodies? These are the Songs of an Indomitable Spirit.
About the Author
Michael B. Carroll Jr. is a graduate of West Chester University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Science degree in Professional Studies (Health Science/Psychology dual minor). He is a native of Philadelphia, PA and his poems have appeared in publications such as Maudlin House, Wingless Dreamer, and Cathexis Northwest Press. Carroll’s work was recently showcased in Kosmos Quarterly: journal of global transformation as a “Featured Poet.”
He refers to his greatest aspirations in life as M&M Dreams, which represents his undying love for music and the practice of medicine. Music continues to inspire him to live, love and create, passionately—while his desire to practice medicine keeps him emotionally connected to his humanity. When not writing poetry, songs, or studying medicine, Carroll enjoys spending time with his family and friends, and pretending he’s a part of Buffy’s crime-fighting, “Scooby Gang.”
Early Praise for Songs of an Indomitable Spirit:
Songs of an Indomitable Spirit opens with a proclamation: I swear there’s a vision on the tip/ of my tongue…/ sitting, standing, tap-dancing on/ the edge, daring to be savored (“Visions”). What readers will savor in Michael B. Carroll, Jr.’s second book is the inspiring journey the poet takes them on as he chases delight in the streets…and danc[es], rough through the pain (“Interlude: Reminiscing about the days”).
The tension between delight and pain permeates poems that feature a young black man striving to live in a world where, on one hand, the screaming voices of our African American mothers,/ [are] enough to make a love song cry (“I’m not mad, I’m angry”); where, on the other, fifty shades of God (“Hootin’ ‘n’ Hollerin’ (reprise)”) strengthen his faith.
It’s a world in which the poet challenges himself to discard the limiting labels history has imposed on him. When he asks himself, What if you decided to forsake all others and chose only to love you? (“Choices”), we cheer for that indomitable spirit daring to define itself. Along the way, we grow to admire the poet who wishes to be remembered as a strong man who wrote poems that helped him gather the strength to finally break free (“Victory”).
—Carolyn Martin, Ph.D., poetry editor
Kosmos Quarterly: journal of global transformation
There is an exciting fearlessness to Michael Carroll’s poetry. Strikingly fresh language, vivid and bold, and fresh, jazzy rhythms join to convey a profundity of vision. In Carroll’s poems, we can find joy, love, humor, anger, regret. But, above all, we see a young and accomplished poet with the courage to question society’s norms; the strength to explore psychological depths, both his own and others’; while retaining and sharing the wonder, the uniqueness, and the value of the lived moment.
—Thomas F. Hinchcliffe, PhD.,
professor of English: Psychoeducational Processes
There is a fine essence of an ethereal hue grounded in Michael Carroll’s inkwell that speaks to the heritage of timelessness in our surroundings . . .