Quick Reviews: What I’ve Been Reading

My Christmas holiday was full of chills. No, not from horror stories. The flu! I can never concentrate when I have a fever and cough, so I tend to move toward gentler reads for comfort — as well as to pass the time until the crud goes away.

I haven’t taken the time to read poetry in years. While being sick, I read a few collections. It reminded me how much I enjoy it. I need to read it more often.

“Milk and Honey” by Rupi Kaur

Someone recommended this collection to me, and I’m ever so grateful. I always say that well written poetry awakens your senses. This book of poems stirred my soul. Rupi Kaur has a beautiful talent for putting pain and joy into words — and arranging those words so that they sink deep inside you, awakening emotion and memory.

From Amazon:

The book is divided into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose. Deals with a different pain. Heals a different heartache. milk and honey takes readers through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

“Citizen: An American Lyric” by Claudia Rankine

Combining prose and poetry, “Citizen: An American Lyric” is a look at racism through every day encounters and experiences. Rankine’s ability to turn ordinary words into works of art makes each selection of poetry and prose that much more powerful. It’s a book I want to read again, and I hope everyone finds time to read.

From Amazon:

Claudia Rankine’s bold new book recounts mounting racial aggressions in ongoing encounters in twenty-first-century daily life and in the media. Some of these encounters are slights, seeming slips of the tongue, and some are intentional offensives in the classroom, at the supermarket, at home, on the tennis court with Serena Williams and the soccer field with Zinedine Zidane, online, on TV-everywhere, all the time. The accumulative stresses come to bear on a person’s ability to speak, perform, and stay alive. Our addressability is tied to the state of our belonging, Rankine argues, as are our assumptions and expectations of citizenship. In essay, image, and poetry, Citizen is a powerful testament to the individual and collective effects of racism in our contemporary, often named “post-race” society.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

“The Dark Between Stars” by Atticus

After reading “Milk and Honey”, I was looking for another collection that would sink as deeply and move me as greatly. “The Dark Between Stars” wasn’t the soul stirring poetry I found in Rupi Kaur, but it was just as beautiful. Atticus writes simply. Short poems. Small words. Yet, he paints exquisite images of love and life. Some of his work left me in awe.

From Amazon:

Atticus, has captured the hearts and minds of nearly 700kfollowers (including stars like Karlie Kloss, Emma Roberts, and Alicia Keys). In his second collection of poetry, The Dark Between Stars, he turns his attention to the dualities of our lived experiences—the inescapable connections between our highest highs and lowest lows. He captures the infectious energy of starting a relationship, the tumultuous realities of commitment, and the agonizing nostalgia of being alone again. While grappling with the question of how to live with purpose and find meaning in the journey, these poems offer both honest explorations of loneliness and our search for connection, as well as light-hearted, humorous observations. As Atticus writes poignantly about dancing, Paris, jazz clubs, sunsets, sharing a bottle of wine on the river, rainy days, creating, and destroying, he illustrates that we need moments of both beauty and pain—the darkness and the stars—to fully appreciate all that life and love have to offer.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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