Since April is National Poetry Month I decided to do a post about my favourite collections! I’m definitely not an expert when it comes to poetry and a lot of things can go over my head, however that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the beauty of it. I know a lot of people are hesitant to read poetry because of various reasons (a common theme I see is because of school) but I guarantee there are so many poems out there that are nothing like the ones you were forced to study at school.
I decided to give poetry another chance because I saw this poem by Buddy Wakefield on Tumblr that I fell in love with:
I had no idea that this kind of poetry existed or that it could have such an affect on me.
I supposed my favourite style of poetry is classed as “Tumblr/Instagram Poetry” and I know it gets a lot of hate, but I think that’s so unwarranted. If it’s not your thing that’s cool a lot of traditional poetry isn’t for me, but you don’t have to be an ass about it? Anyway!!!
I wanted to share some of my favourites that I think are great places to start if you’ve never read a poetry collection before.
PSA: A lot of these collections deal with triggering things. It’s been a while since I read them so my memory is a bit foggy. I tried to remember as much as I could. Just keep that in mind if you decide to read them.
Stuff I’ve Been Feeling Lately by Alicia Cook – This collection resonated with me so much. It’s formatted to look like a mixtape and there’s a Side B which features blackout poetry of poems from Side A!
love, and you by Gretchen Gomez – The collection that my 18 year old self needed and that my current self is so happy exists. A beautiful and honest collection on how you are stronger than you think. Gretchen is part of the blogging community and I highly encourage you to go support her book. You can also see a review I wrote here.
milk and honey by Rupi Kaur – I can’t even express how beautiful Rupi’s poems are. Every single one hit me so incredibly hard. I actually wrote a review for this book which you can see here! I pretty much cried from start to finish whilst reading this. [tw: abuse, rape]
the princess saves herself in this one by Amanda Lovelace – I feel like I’m repeating myself, but again this is another collection that just hit me so hard. This is super empowering and honest. [tw: abuse]
Ariel by Sylvia Plath – Sylvia Plath is probably one of the only few ‘classic’ poets that I like. I really resonate with the voice she puts across because of my own personal experiences. It can’t have been easy to talk about the things she did and I really appreciate how brutally honest she is. [tw: mental illness]
Citizen: An American Lyric by Claduia Rankine – At first I struggled to connect to any of the poems in this collection, but then that made me step back and realise how privileged I am as a white person. Claudia Rankine is brilliantly unapologetic as she delivers her anger towards the injustices that black people face simply for existing.
Crush by Richard Siken – This was actually the first poetry collection I ever read. I came across it on Tumblr because everyone was using a verse from one of his poems “You Are Jeff“ for edits. I’m so glad I decided to pick it up because the poems in here are what made me fall in love with poetry. I think I’ve reread this collection like four times. [tw: rape]
A Boy Without His Feathers by Beau Taplin – I first heard of Beau because he helped write lyrics for one of my favourite Australian bands For Our Hero. I loved his lyrics so much because of their honesty (are you sensing a theme here) and how much I was able to relate. He openly spoke about his experiences with mental illness (I definitely recommending checking out their song My Revolution – tw for suicide mentions but ultimately it’s about recovery). For Our Hero broke up but I was able to met Beau and his brother Jay (who did vocals) at a show and connecting with them and speaking about how much their words helped. Unfortunately, this collection isn’t available anymore so I won’t really go into it, but it has one of my favourite openings EVER. I basically just wanted to give Beau a shout out because he has a ton of collections that are available here!! He’s also pretty active on Twitter, Instagram & Tumblr where he shares poems.
Here’s a small selection of some of my favourite poems from the collections I mentioned above!