I’ve wanted to add another element to this blog outside the realm of book reviews for a long time. My love for writing expands outside fictional novels, and poetry specifically holds a special place in my heart; it only makes sense that I start to share some of my favourites with everyone!
So once a month, I will post a poem that inspires me and leaves me breathless, as well as a short personal commentary explaining why I thought the poem was worth sharing. They will most likely vary in length, but I can guarantee they’ll be consistent in quality. So without further ado, I present April’s poem of the month.
I’ve had this poem saved for so long, and whenever I come back to read it I fall in love all over again. It always leaves me with a warm feeling of hope and a strong sense of will to keep going. I also love how meta it is since the author takes an introspective look at the stereotypical poet and mercilessly dissects it. It’s beautifully written as if a friend sitting next to you giving some wise advice. I think everyone struggling with problems of self-worth or hopelessness should read this.
Save Yourself by Lana Rafaela
“let me tell you something:
no one is going to look at you, broken and shattered
and think –
damn, you are beautiful.
no one is going to come pick up your broken pieces off the floor and
assemble them into a beautiful whole.
you won’t even look at yourself and think –
I made broken look beautiful.
you know why?
because all those writers lied to you.
all those with their poems of scraped knuckles and
blood dripping down chins,
pomegranate songs and loves that ripped through you like
so you and i,
we are going to make a plan.
you are not going to romanticize days when your brain tells you to smash that mirror,
you are not going to romanticize the lover who doesn’t understand you
but still writes about you.
here is what you are going to romanticize instead:
you are going to romanticize the first day of spring,
its gentle hands all over your body,
lifting you up until you are as light as a feather.
you are going to romanticize the tea and honey kind of love,
but sunshine that builds you up from within,
that helps you make it through the worst days.
you are going to romanticize gentle hands of a friend
telling you that it is going to be okay.
because it is.
and don’t trust poets,
we’re no good,
we love pretending that our jagged edges tantamount to a beautiful disaster, but in reality-
there ain’t nothing beautiful about shaky hands holding a cigarette and
empty eyes staring at the cracks in the walls.
you know what is beautiful, instead?
the days when you can look at yourself in the mirror and smile,
scars and all.
music that makes your soul flow like a river,
books that offer comfort,
families flocking together like overgrown birds to keep you safe and warm,
friends that give you strength when you can find none,
lovers who make you laugh through tears.
from now on
you are going to romanticize healing;
honey dripping down your fingertips,
August nights that stick to your skin,
the day you find your purpose,
long car rides and singing so loud that no one can shut you up now.
no one is coming to save you.
you can save yourself.”