Thursday, January 18, 2018

Life’s eternal song


Mark Fraser

“Humble beginnings can be great beginnings,” said Beverly Harrigan, the author of the book, Songs of Life.

The compilation of 20 inspirational poems not only captures the many facets of life in the lives of others, but also reveals some of the author’s experiences.

Originally from Schuler Street in Laventille, Harrigan moved to Picton Road as an infant and resided there until her teenage years. 

She now lives in the US and says despite the stigma attached to the place of her childhood, she firmly believes the place holds great significance in making her into the woman she is today.

Proud of her background and the place she called home while growing up, Harrigan is delighted to show the world good things can indeed come from Laventille.

Songs of Life is the first book for the author, who credits her mother for encouraging the passion she has had for writing since she was a child.

Harrigan also said she would have to give credit to God, the source of her inspiration, which was also the basis of the book that showcases some of her experiences and observations during the times when she lived in Brooklyn, New York. 

She noted that travelling on the New York subway also offered great inspirations as well.

Explaining what prompted her to write this book, Harrigan said, “I entered the subway of the ‘F’ train in Brooklyn one day. I saw a white Jewish man, in his traditional clothes, sear­ching in a garbage bin. At the same time, a black homeless man who was dressed in rags looked back and when he saw the Jewish man digging in the bin, he stretched out his hand and offered him a loaf of bread.

“The incident immediately brought to mind the foolishness of racism and I considered the fact that in critical times there was no place for it. Little did I know though that God actually allowed me the opportunity to be there at that particular point in time to not only observe and be inspired, but mainly to begin the writing process in me.

“Before I became a writer I worked as a senior investment specialist in a large financial, insurance and investment firm in New York City, and at night I attended Pace University,” Harrigan said.

She continued, “I write on a part-time basis according to my inspirations from God and also due to the fact that my writings started off as a hobby. I did not take into consideration the bigger picture such as becoming a published author. However, it dawned on me that I had accumulated sufficient poems to get published so I pursued the opportunity do so.”

She noted that the aim of the book is to make people aware that God could inspire anyone at any point in time.

She said, “In addition, Songs of Life also allows people the opportunity to see and experience life through my eyes, whether it’s from my experience or someone else’s, to view life from my perspective, to laugh, think, have a better understanding for the subway commute even if they rode the subway before, ponder the issues and, most of all, be edified by the written product.

“The book covers an eclectic mix of topics which is based on the concept that life is not based on one issue alone. Some of the topics that were discussed were the good and bad aspects of relationships, issues of racism, incidents that occurred on the subway and more,” she said.

“My favourite poem from the book is “I’ll Make It Through” simply because God put me through a temporary experience for the creation of this poem and told me to write about strong characters in the Bible.

“When I completed the poem, the uncomfortable feeling that I felt left me completely. Becoming a writer has certainly influenced my reading. However, I’m selective in the things that I read and the things that I write simply because I understand that writing is a powerful medium,” she said.

For copies of the book, visit and search for the title Songs of Life by Sister Beverly.