No Matter the Wreckage

Title: No Matter the Wreckage

Author: Sarah Kay

Summary: In her powerful debut collection, Sarah Kay navigates a decade’s worth of writing to present us with a book that combines new poems and beloved favourites. Both fresh and wise, Sarah Kay’s poetry invites us to join her on the journey of discovering herself and the world around her.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ 2.5/5

Review: Poetry and I are still doing battle. I love the idea of poetry, but it’s apparently the biggest hit-or-miss thing I can read. This one, on the whole, was a bit of a miss.

The first indication of it not working for me, was how long it took me to read. Almost a month to get through 133 pages of poetry? It’s not supposed to take that long. I just… didn’t really want to pick it up? But I still haven’t completely shaken that crippling need-to-finish urge so, i ploughed through it. And it was worth it.

There were some wonderful gems in here. A few whole poems and many lines and snippets that I adored. I did mark the things i loved, to easily find again. I loved Poppy, a poem that shares snippets of a woman’s habits she carries through her life. I loved Dragons, a poem about temper and how someone quiet and well-controlled might be pushed to the limit of their patience. I loved The Paradox, a poem about always feeling like you should be doing something else, something more. I loved these fragments…

Most days, waking is the hardest.
But it is also when Poetry arrives—
stands patiently outside the shower,
places its hand on the mirror,
wipes away the steam.

If I could have, I am sure I would have given it all away
with the rest of me. I did not know it was possible
to keep some things for myself.

But mostly, I found the poems too long. Too wordy. Too much. They’d start in an interesting place, but then waver and meander tediously to somewhere else. They’d start strong, but then over work a theme and become far less impactful and over explained. And several of them just couldn’t keep my interest at all.

After reading and adoring Milk and Honey, followed by my lack of passion for this book, I seem to have discovered that i like short, passionate poetry. When a few short lines can take a concept, a feeling, an experience, and condense it down but sum it up so perfectly. That is my kind of poetry. This… isn’t.

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About Wendleberry
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One Response to No Matter the Wreckage

  1. Pingback: 2019 End of Year Book Survey | Marvel At Words

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