Poetry of a Dysfunctional Family

Reviewed by:  Anna Oelerich, Professional Writing Student, Taylor University, Upland, Indiana



Title: Poetry of a Dysfunctional Familypoetry-of-a-dysfunctional-family

Author: Sammy Lee Gott

Publisher: Lulu Publishing Services

Publication Date: February 25, 2016

Format: Print book



Sammy Lee Gott’s life has been anything but simple. The child of alcoholic parents, he was routinely abused, and went on to live an emotionally volatile life. Despite a harrowing childhood, difficult military career, and unhealthy marriage, Gott learned valuable lessons about healing and forgiveness. In Poetry of a Dysfunctional Family, Gott and his brother Gerald explore themes of love, healing, and forgiveness, acknowledging that only the Lord can restore what has been broken. The authors use a mix of prose and poetry to share their lives with readers, in hopes they will find encouragement and hope.


Rating (1 to 5)


It takes a while to get used to the format of the poems, as none of them are written in a traditional poetic format. In fact, the rhyming words Sammy and Gerald Gott use are often the only indicators of poetry. Also, the word choices are a bit too clichéd at times. Readers will want to feel the emotion of what the brothers had been through, and it could have been conveyed better in straight prose.

That being said, I have tremendous respect for the authors and their endurance through suffering. What their poems lack in detail about their respective pasts, the intervals of prose compensate for; the simple, straightforward tone works better here as they let their stories tell themselves.

Suggested Audience

Older Christians (50+) or believers who have suffered emotional trauma at a young age

Christian Impact


The author shows an incredible amount of transparency and openness toward readers by supplementing  his revealing poems with detailed anecdotes from formative times in his life. This would likely bless Christians who come from similar backgrounds.

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Poetry of a Dysfunctional Family

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