AUTHOR: Yrsa Daley-Ward
PUBLISHER: Penguin Books
RATING: 4/5 Stars
Bone. Visceral. Close to. Stark.
The poems in Yrsa Daley-Ward’s collection bone are exactly that: reflections on a particular life honed to their essence—so clear and pared-down, they become universal.
From navigating the oft competing worlds of religion and desire, to balancing society’s expectations with the raw experience of being a woman in the world; from detailing the experiences of growing up as a first generation black British woman, to working through situations of dependence and abuse; from finding solace in the echoing caverns of depression and loss, to exploring the vulnerability and redemption in falling in love, each of the raw and immediate poems in Daley-Ward’s bone resonates to the core of what it means to be human.
What I Liked:
- Daley-Ward's voice is a force to be reckoned with. Not only was 'bone' the perfect title for this collection (for the reasons stated in the blurb) but every poem, be it twenty words or pages long, felt honest and open. Vulnerable. I honestly really enjoyed this snapshot into Daley-Ward's thoughts and feelings.
- These poems reflected upon a variety of themes: mental illness, love, loss, family, fear, hurt, abuse and lust. They were the human condition laid bare and her words had a real, raw quality. I love seeing Daley-Ward's representation in the poetic community. She is both a POC and a member of the LGBT+ community and it was so refreshing to see her experiences in this collection.
What I Disliked:
- Not every poem was relatable to me. And that's fine. I preferred her longer poems (particular favourites being 'it is what it is', 'nose', 'what love isn't' and 'some kind of man'), but I wouldn't say that I hated or even disliked any of them.
This is my favourite poetry collection that I've read so far. I'll always prefer novels I think, in terms of format, but Daley-Ward proved you don't need 300-odd pages to tell a story. Every one of her poems had a point and even the shortest made me reflect upon something. It will certainly be a collection worth revisiting in the future and I'll certainly be looking out for more of Daley-Ward's works.