Sam Sharp ’20 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Modern poetry features themes of feminism, equality, love, life, and everything in between. In general, poetry has always prompted a “love it” or “hate it” reaction from many people. Either people relate to it whole-heartedly, or they don’t understand its meaning or importance.
Here is a list of modern poetry that everyone can understand and love in some form.
By now, almost everyone has heard of this book of poems, and for good reason. The most important word used to describe this book is survival. Divided into four parts—the Hurting, the Loving, the Breaking, and the Healing—Kaur discusses love, loss, abuse, femininity, violence, and healing in a beautiful and meaningful way, pairing the poems with little illustrations. Kaur has the power to say exactly what the reader is thinking, and throughout the entire book, she continues to surprise the reader with her healing words. Men can learn and women can heal from this book. Even if a reader doesn’t like poetry, this book will speak to them, and provide more insight than any other can.
If one loves supporting feminism, then this book is perfect. As the title proves, this book is filled with feminist poetry that is good for the soul. It is divided into four different chapters: the Princess, the Damsel, the Queen, and You. The first three follow the story of growing up, while the final chapter, “You,” is a letter to the reader. Lovelace’s poems discuss love, loss, grief, healing, growing up, and empowerment, taking their inspiration from fairy tales. This book will give readers the best and worst book hangover ever experienced, as its words speak to everyone’s struggle. It will be worth it when readers put down this book with an evolved way of thinking. Overall, it is a very inspirational book for women everywhere.
Words from a Wanderer is intended to create a conversation. This book is full of notes and poems all about self-affirmation and self-discovery. Following its hopeful and uplifting poems, the book includes a series of journal pages just for readers to share their own thoughts and continue the book themselves. It contains great inspiration for those who seem lost, stuck, or think that everyone is moving forward while they are standing still. Elle breaks down the feeling of being stuck, and succeeds in letting readers know that it is a part of the journey through life and growing up. Some poems make readers laugh, and some make them cry, but all are necessary.
A book designed to look and act like an old mixtape, Stuff I’ve Been Feeling Lately perfectly pairs poetry with music. The contents page is actually a track list; the book is split into two chapters, called Side A and Side B; and each track has a “currently listening to” section, wherein Cook chooses a song she thinks pairs well with the poem. Side A’s poems discuss life, death, growing up, home, family, and trauma; Side B features “remixes” of the first section’s poems, so readers get new meanings from past poems. The tone of this entire book is very nostalgic, and if one is the kind of person that lives to reminisce about the past, then this is their perfect book.
Possibly the greatest of this list, this book is dedicated to the reader. Even if one doesn’t like poems, this is the kind of book to keep in mind. It follows the importance of growing up through the thoughts Kuhn had during her childhood—her first eighteen years. In this book, there are poems that everyone needs. One of note is “Catharsis,” as it spreads the important message that it is healthy to cry sometimes. With illustrations to match some poems, and an overall message that it “is meant to be bent and warn, written in, tear-stained, and loved. This book is for you,” it is a book one can leave and come back to a million times. The perfect guidebook to life, Eighteen Years is a must-have for those who are truly starting to grow up.
Overall, these books are each incredibly important in the messages they send, and are easy to read even if one doesn’t love poetry. They come highly recommended for anyone who needs a hug in book form. Enjoy!