"Reflections of a Peacemaker: A Portrait Through Heartsongs is the final collection of Mattie J.T. Stepanek's Heartsongs. It includes the last poem Mattie penned before his death in June 2004, as well as 250 previously unpublished poems, photographs, and artwork spanning the decade from when he began writing Heartsongs at age three. Culled from the thousands of poems, essays, and journal entries Mattie left behind, the selections in Reflections of a Peacemaker create a portrait of Mattie in his own words. In these poems he explores disability, despair, and death but also the gifts he found in nature, prayer, peace, and his belief in something "bigger and better than the here and now."" "The book begins with Oprah Winfrey's foreword, adapted from the eulogy she gave at Mattie's funeral. Personal tributes to Mattie from Maya Angelou, Larry King, former President Jimmy Carter, and other notable figures open each chapter. In the words of Mattie's mother, Jeni Stepanek, who is publishing Reflections as a Peacemaker at her son's request, "I realized the collection of poems he had gathered for this book was, in essence, a biographical sketch. Mattie's life, filled with thoughts and reactions, experiences and reflections, became his poetry. In this Portrait Through Heartsongs we realize the mosaic of Mattie J.T. Stepanek, 'a poet, a peacemaker, and a philosopher who played.'""--BOOK JACKET.
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