Verbally abused by her alcoholic father (who ultimately committed suicide)
and suffering from a lack of self-esteem, Cherie Burbach began writing
poetry when she was young—but she eventually threw her work away, fearing ridicule. After her father’s suicide, however, she began keeping her writings.|
Father’s Eyes, Burbach’s latest collection of poetry, is divided into sections: The Struggle, The Search, The
Surrender, and The Embrace. When taken individually, each section reflects
the stages of the author’s life. The book, when taken as a whole, clearly
represents the evolution of her life from victim to survivor.
The book’s first poem, “I Am,” is a short, dark poem about her father’s
refusal to see her for who she really was. Many of the poems in the collection
address her dead father and her feelings toward him.
The poem “Father’s Eyes” (the very last poem in the book) demonstrates the
moment when Burbach, a devout Christian, realized she wasn’t just the
child of an alcoholic, but more importantly a child of God—and that her
faith would always give her the chance to start again.
Though I did find the first part of the book depressing, as I continued to read on, I could see the changes taking place in Cherie’s life through her absolute faith
in God. I admire Cherie Burbach for her bravery in confronting her demons
and the darkness of her life. The ability to do it through poetry is an
effective therapy. Readers may very well find inspiration in her work.