My 18th birthday has recently passed just over a week ago, this has partly been responsible for my lack of posts since I broke my phone a few days before my birthday then went on holiday to Amsterdam. However since this is a book I have wanted since forever, it is obligatory I need to talk about it.
This book is split up into four chapters, each chapter deals with a different heartache and trauma.This book is a collection of poetry and prose focusing on survival. Before beginning to read this book, I was not aware how powerful this poetry would be, I had just seen posts on tumblr with some of the poems and thought this book seemed pretty cool. Trying to review this book as a whole could not do it justice, the reader is taken on a journey with this book. Each poem is so personal, writing an overview of the book would be insulting. Here are some of my favourite poems:
“you tell me to quiet down cause
my opinions make me less beautiful
but i was not made with a fire in my belly
so i could be put out
i was not made with a lightness on my tongue
so i could be easy to swallow
i was made heavy
half blade and half silk
difficult to forget and not easy
for the mind to follow”
This poem hits me deep. So often in society women are looked down upon for being opinionated, whether we have opinions about politics, football, current events ect, we can always be accused of faking our interests or being rude by being heavily opinionated. The amount of times I was accused of pretending to enjoy football because I wanted something to talk about with boys was unbelievable, in reality I was showing an interest in something important to my dad. This is truly beautiful poetry, it’s hard to describe what this means to me as there is so much raw emotion I can relate to behind Kaur’s words. Her voice is so raw and touching which only assists in helping her words resonate so deep inside of me. I consider this poem to be a huge “fuck you” of empowerment to anyone who doesn’t respect and value a women’s opinion.
“i want to apologize to all the women i have called beautiful
before i’ve called them intelligent or brave
i am sorry i made it sound as though
something as simple as what you’re born with
is all you have to be proud of
when you have broken mountains with your wit
from now on i will say things like
you are resilient, or you are extraordinary
not because i don’t think you’re beautiful
but because i need you to know
you are more than that”
This poem has less of an emotional impact on me, but the message is still important and is something that needs to be highlighted and shared as much as possible. We are more than our looks. How our appearance and bodies develop and how we edit our appearance as we grow up does not define who we are, we are more than this just as the poem states. This poem is uplifting as we live in a world where so many times our personality and our worth as a person is determined by how we look. Everyone deserves to know they are more than that. Breaking mountains is a beautiful analogy, without directly stating it implies we are strong.
“It was when I stopped searching for home within others and lifted the foundations of home within myself i found there were no roots more intimate than those between a mind and body that have decided to be whole”
One of the most popular and well known phrases about home is “home is where the heart is”, I think the message of this poem can relate to that. This is about self love and if you love yourself, wherever you are happy is your home. As someone who struggles with depression it is easy to relate because when your mind and body cannot stop fighting with one another to counter the saddness, nowhere feels like home. It can feel lonely all the time. The mind and body deciding to be whole, means to me when you realise it’s time to fight your illness to get help to be happy. The roots you have within yourself and your mind are the most important.
The poems I have picked to write about are ones that I relate to and felt either had the biggest impact on me. This book has so much impact, I would recommend to everyone that even if they hate poetry and only read one book in their life – it should be this one. This book slayed through my emotions, making me experience something no other book has had. However, although I find it excellent I don’t know much about poetry and others who do, deem the themes “universal” and the writing too “tumblr”. To me, the simple poetry addresses the most dark and hopeful feelings of the human heart through themes like female empowerment, heartbreak, abuse and what it is like to feel love.
This book also features many illustrations, I would like to feature some of my favourites.