books

Book review: I write because it hurts (because it hurts like you)

May 26, 2017
book cover of "Indigo"

Hi lovelies ♥

Lately, I have been heavily indulging my passion for poetry collections. I bought two when I was on holiday in Bucharest, I’ve already reviewed Milk and Honey and I want to share another collection with you now.

The book is called Indigo by Jamie Louise, who writes under the pen name of “f.d.soul” (and who also has a beautiful Instagram feed, by the way).

It has a beautiful cover and the title is written in a nice elaborate font. The cover illustration is a very simple drawing of some blue feathers. I love the simplicity of the design.

girl holding book

On the back, there is a poem that says:

I write because it hurts.
because I need it to hurt.
because it hurts in the
most beautiful way possible.

(because it hurts like you)

The back cover impressed me right away because I thought it was a beautiful reason for writing.

The collection is split into three parts called “Skin of Brick & a Breaking Heart”, “The Mending of Veins”, and “Bare Feet & Universe Breathing”. It does not have any illustrations, though there is the occasional doodle, like a tree branch or a flower. Mostly though, the book contains text only.

Topic-wise, there are no surprises: the pieces deal with love, heartbreak, occasionally feminism, sexual autonomy, parenting and relationships in general, personal development, and there is one poem called For Aleppo that stood out as particularly heart-breaking and beautiful. Personally, I do not find this repetitive because I don’t think poetry needs to be innovative in its choice of topics. There is an infinite number of word combinations that one could use to describe the feeling of love, or loss, or pain. The fun of poetry, to me, isn’t looking for new feelings to describe, it’s looking for new word combinations to describe universal truths. That, I think, is also what makes good poetry timeless.

There are several pieces in the collection that I found particularly beautiful. Of course, with art, different things resonate with different people and this is hugely dependent on personal history. I tend to like poems that are short, succinct, and so to the point that they haunt you for hours and days. Indigo contains those, but it also had several longer pieces that I enjoyed.

This is probably my favorite longer piece in the book. (If you can’t read it from the picture, I’ve typed it up below)

 

Why you are afraid

Show them your scars
when they ask why you are afraid

when you tell them that
perhaps
they will fall hopelessly
out of love with you

and they laugh
“baby, please”
and kiss you on your forehead

the same spot
they use to say
goodbye

show them that
you wear the soft handprints
of a single mother

like the loveliest of scars

tell them that
they are a bull in a china shop

that you fear
marrying into infidelity
could be genetic

and,
dear one,

here’s the worst
most beautiful part of it all:
they will tell you that they love you

and all you can do
is hope to God that they mean it.

 

Here are some of my favorite shorter pieces from the collection.


Indigo is actually also the last word of the last piece in the book, which I thought was a lovely touch.

On a side note, I believe the book is self-published, which to me is hugely inspirational because self-publishing a poetry collection is one of my bigger dreams in life.

I would give the book a solid four stars out of five. It didn’t make me cry quite as often as Milk and Honey, and some of the poems were more lightweight and innocent somehow. There is a little bit less pain and angst, I would say. It’s written in quite a similar style at times and there really are many poems in it that I thought were truly beautiful. I’m glad I own this book and will definitely leaf through it over and over again. If you enjoy poetry at all, it’s a worthy read.

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