Times are tough and no matter how much we beg for sense to prevail, it eludes us. Poetry is an exception. Sense and meaning have been tucked into it. Poetry exists in the intersection of expression of language and its absence, speaking multitudes while being economical about words. Here is a list of great poetry books that will not only bring you hope but also will help you kickstart your 2020 Goodreads goal.
Adultolescence by Gabbie Hanna
This book of illustrated poetry is a gem. So many confused kids are navigating the world in adult bodies. Gabbie Hanna uses humor to bring out the existential dread that has reached epidemic levels in millennials. It’s raw, it’s funny and intensely engaging making it a powerhouse of yuppie emotions. You will find solidarity in your insecurities, and for nights when your bed has anything but company this book will provide a strange sense of comfort.
Full Cicada Moon by Marilyn Hilton
Life is tough. But it’s even tougher for people who don’t fit into the societal boxes of normal. How do we define who we are? And who gets to decide which parameters of our being should be accepted universally and which shouldn’t? Full Cicada Moon is written from the perspective of Mimi, who is in her early teens and trying hard to navigate racism. It’s empowering, witty and has a cute charm to it that will melt hearts in a jiffy.
Nothing is Okay by Rachel Wiley
Rachel Wiley juggles multiple topics like body shaming, visibility, depression, and identity thus making the reader feel contradictory emotions all at once. She uses humor to pinpoint how draining dating apps can be. At times it would feel like Wiley had laid herself inside out just to make her readers feel how it is to feel lonely and desperate for love, but also to have a strong desire to keep all your pieces together. The struggle is real (and sad for the most part) but Wiley makes us all privy to it, making it a little less scary.
Love Looks Pretty on You by Lang Leav
Any person who has their heart broken will find comfort in Lang Leav’s poetry. Each of her poems feels like it has been specially written for you. She talks about moments that become a memory before you’re ready for it to become your past. And you don’t know how the memory seems more real than the moment itself. Full of more such heartwrenching emotions, this book is therapeutic and carries the first saplings of self-empowerment.
Honeybee by Trista Mateer
Getting over someone is not a linear process. It’s repetitive and messy and one step forward doesn’t always guarantee moving on. Everyone who has lost a love interest will find a lot of comfort and solidarity in this book. It’s always good to know that you’re not the first person on this planet to have your heart broken and won’t be the last either. And the hope of a future where you remember the hurt but stop feeling it, once and for all, amplifies with every passing day. This book is a cocktail of all these emotions that will help alleviate the sharp edges that made a home out of you when love left.
If They Come For Us by Fatimah Asghar
Those of us who don’t fit into the boxes approved by the status quo find it hard to navigate the world. Orphaned at an early age, Asghar grapples with adolescence without a mother and the racism inflicted upon the South Asian diaspora by white majoritarian culture. Her poems deal with a blend of emotions, starting from vulnerability to despair and identity crisis. This book is a brazen reflection of life itself and the loss of a sense of belonging is both haunting and relatable.