#WorldPoetryDay: My Poetry Book Collection

It's #WorldPoetryDay! So I thought I'd put together a quick post about my poetry book collection that has been building up slowly since last year. This genre seems to be everywhere these days, not only in terms of being able to buy books from so many hyped and great writers, but in terms of workshops being held by Nellie that I'd love to attend one day, and even talks and performances that you can go to during this years Birmingham Literature Festival.

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What I love about poetry is how simple the writing can be to make a big impact, really making me think about my own life through the eyes and mind of someone else. I think contemporary poetry is relatable and easy to understand, which is the reason why it's become so popular over the past few years, with topics such as feminism, abuse and other serious issues being discussed in a way that anyone can understand. I myself have felt all these books have got a healing power to them. Read on for thoughts on my poetry collection.

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Amanda Lovelace: The Princess Saves Herself in This One

This was the first poetry book I bought and I finished it in one sitting. That's the only complaint I have for Amanda Lovelace - it was too short! This book is split into four parts: the princess, the damsel, the queen and you. Since this was the first poetry book I'd read I was glad to find there's a narrative to it, making it easy to follow. If this was a collection of poems put together randomly I don't think it would have been such an enjoyable read. Each section explores different parts of her own life, from childhood to being an adult, covering topics including relationships with her mum and sister. There's also trigger warnings for death and abuse, the first one being on page 11 which still came as quite a shock to me even with the warnings. 

Below is my favourite poem from this book. It's my favourite because it made me feel empowered, that no matter how many times I fall, I have to stand back up again showing the haters in my life that I can be better and happier than I've ever been even without them in my life...

once upon
a time,
the princess
rose from the ashes
her dragon lovers
made of her
&
crowned
herself
the
motherfucking
queen of
herself

- how’s that for a happily ever after?
— Amanda Lovelace, 'The Princess Saves Herself in This One', p.105
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Rupi Kaur: Milk and Honey + The Sun and Her Flowers

We all know how hyped Rupi Kaur had been when her first poetry collection came out, but unfortunately Milk and Honey didn't live up to its expectations for me, especially compared to The Princess Saves Herself in This One. I found this strange because you'd think I'd feel more of a connection to Rupi Kaur, what with her being Asian and all that, but I felt there were too many sexual references for my liking when there didn't need to be, and even though the simplicity of modern poetry is the thing I love, Rupi's felt too simple, almost leaving nothing to the imagination. On the other hand I was glad to find aspects of her culture covered, and I definitely preferred her second book, The Sun and Her Flowers. Even though I wasn't very impressed with these books to begin with, it all switched when I started to watch Rupi perform on YouTube, and now I cannot wait for the day to arrive when I can go and see her perform live, it's just a shame tickets to her UK tour have sold out!

My favourite poem is the one below, which in certain ways relates to my current MA practice. I love this poem because it's making you aware that perfection doesn't actually exist, its definition is forever changing which is why it's important to be happy with yourself and the way you look. There's no point in spending all your time and money becoming someone you're not.

i made change after change
on the road to perfection
but when i finally felt beautiful enough
their definition of beauty
suddenly changed

what if there is no finish line
and in an attempt to keep up
i lose the gifts i was born with
for a beauty so insecure
it can’t commit to itself

-the lies they sell
— Rupi Kaur, 'the sun and her flowers', p.222

Jennae Cecelia: I am More Than a Daydream + Uncaged Wallflower extended edition

I was on the hunt to try out another poet but even though I'd been watching reviews for a while, nothing really caught my attention like Jennae Cecelia. I discovered her after she liked one of my photos on Instagram, and it didn't take me long to buy two books from Amazon! I Am More Than A Daydream sounded perfect for me because I'm forever daydreaming about how life could be and the things I'd like to achieve. I also bought the extended edition of Uncaged Wallflower because I thought since it's an extended edition the poems must be really good, right? I wasn't wrong, Uncaged Wallflower is now my second favourite poetry book because as I read it I felt Jennae was giving me some much needed advice on things like career aspirations, feeling trapped in an unhappy life, making your voice heard and the negativity of others. One of the many favourite poem's by Jennae Cecelia is the one below, because it's simply telling you that in a crowd of people it's important to be yourself, because that's when you're going to stand out.

You are never going to find
your own voice
while trying to match
the pitch of everyone else’s

-be a rare composition
— Jennae Cecelia, 'Uncaged Wallflower extended edition', p.35

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