Holly Lynn Walrath writes with about being a woman and growing, with self reflection and a certain element of fragility.
'Glimmerglass Girl' had some delicious descriptions such as 'hot cups of blueberry coffee' and 'bitter African cocoa flour'. I enjoyed the specifics of Holly's world, because I could both picture and taste her imagery.
The collection touches on society's perception of female aging. In the poem 'The Young Wives', Walrath describes how thirty 'rose up/and devoured us'. Whether she means a sense of self or age as a form of invisibility, it is clear from the title, that Holly feels alienated in some way.
My favourite poem was 'I am Going to Find the Unicorns', which seemed to be a statement against every label society had ever given the author:
'Not the human's idea of them,
all bright purple and cheeky.
No, the real ones. Blood and horns
This collection had some beautiful illustrations but this sometimes meant I really struggled to read the text behind the image! I also wanted to see some stylistic choices behind line breaks - it may be particular of me, but regular line breaks which gives a poem a jagged form which makes me crave a justification.
The self reflection within this collection is where Holly's writing is most powerful. In poem 'I think my taste is questionable', Holly writes:
'I drank Jello shots
that gulped down, formed a strange pile
like Gummy Bears at the bottom of my self respect.'
In conclusion, this collection had some lovely descriptions which stuck with me (and made me hungry!) and I think many people will find this personal style of writing relatable and memorable.
Glimmerglass Girl is available at www.finishinglinepress.com
'Tiny Poems for Gentle Hearts' by Isabel Scheck
'Tiny Poems for Gentle Hearts' by Isabel Scheck is a collection of short poems which describe love and heartbreak. The book is divided into percentages, and each of the 150 poems is a percentage of the whole.
I’m going to look at 2 example poems:
‘One day she hopes
to be a mum to a
lovely boy or girl
or both that she
can cherish look
after and love until
the end of time.’
The poems read in a diary form, without elaboration and without in-depth detail, so the ideas have to be taken at face value. The sentiments expressed throughout this book are lovely and gentle, but for me personally, I would liked to see some thought behind each line break, so that a sense of individual style emerged.
‘Felix was so
brown eyes and
that the rest of the
world faded away.’
I think this book would be ideal for young adult readers, because the description lends itself to whimsical dreaming and although to me, the level of description and storytelling is quite simplistic, I think it would bring a lot of joy to this age group of readers and introduce them to poetry.
Overall, Isabel wanted this collection to warm hearts and thaw souls. Although not the type of poetry that they usually read, I found that it was comforting bedtime read, and for those readers who love small formats of poetry, which they can dip out in and out of, this is ideal.
You can buy Tiny Poems for Gentle Hearts here.