On second thought maybe it's the little problems that pile up the worst. Deeper and darker. One after another.
Until there's no light at all.
3 1/2 stars. I thought this little book of verse was well-written for the most part, with some parts making a greater impression on me than others. It deals with the subject of self-harming in a sensitive, evocative and informative way. I especially liked how the author explored different reasons for why people self-harm and the possibility that sometimes the individual doesn't even know.
I've known people who've gone through periods of cutting themselves to numb the psychological pain of whatever they were going through, but the author also looks at other people who become addicted to the act of cutting itself - as an ends and not simply a means. I found the subject fascinating without feeling it was used in a gratuitous or emotionally manipulative way - possibly due to the author's daughter going through the same experiences and her personal relationship with the subject matter.
I also cannot express how much I can relate to the quote I opened with. I feel like this is one of the biggest issues sufferers of depression face when trying to articulate their problems - sometimes there just isn't one BIG answer. Sometimes it really is the small things, building up over time and grinding you down. It becomes a problem when a friend, family member, doctor or councilor asks you to describe what's wrong - how do you tell them it's everything?
Kiss of Broken Glass is a short book and the plot itself is almost non-existent because this is essentially a psychological character study of a girl who cuts herself. I felt like the author tried to pad out the story and make it into publishable length by including sections we didn't care about - such as the protagonist's obsession with Jag:
Who can think about goals sitting six inches away from Jag's lips?
Who can focus on a serious topic when it constantly drops in little lines about a boy's lips? Why is this in the book? I can see no obvious reason for it beyond stretching out the story.
Not a bad debut at all. The author shows an obvious talent for using verse in a way that actually improves the writing, rather than simply rearranging words in fancy patterns on a page. I would definitely check out any future work by Kuderick.
I was surprised by how much I liked this book. To be honest, I was seduced by that cover and the fabulous title and didn't really expe...moreFeminist poetry!
I was surprised by how much I liked this book. To be honest, I was seduced by that cover and the fabulous title and didn't really expect it to hold that much substance. But, after a slightly shaky start, I found myself wanting these poems to go on and on.
Heppermann retells traditional fairy tales, legends and even biblical myths in her poems, incorporating metaphors for all the issues teen girls face - insecurities, sex, misogyny, eating disorders, etc. The poems were dark and extremely compelling. I especially liked the idea behind "The First Anorexic" - a poem about Eve's first taste of forbidden fruit and the many women after her who would be obsessed with what they ate. I also thought "The Brief History of Feminism" and its clever use of the phrase "Simon Says" worked really well.
It's also darkly comic at times:
The dress code says we must cover ourselves in ample pants, skirts that reach well below our lascivious knees, polos buttoned over the rim of the canyon, a glimpse of which can send a boy plunging to such depths he may never climb back up to algebra.
We say that if a hiker strays off the path, trips, and winds up crippled, is it really the canyon's fault?
But the author sums up best what this little book of poetry is all about in the author's note at the end:
If you find the dividing line between fairy tales and reality, let me know. In my mind, the two run together, even though the intersections aren't always obvious. The girl sitting quietly in class or waiting for the bus or roaming the mall doesn't want anyone to know, or doesn't know how to tell anyone, that she is locked in a tower. Maybe she's a prisoner of a story she's heard all her life - that fairest means best, or that bruises prove she is worthy of love.
But here's a great thing about stories: they can be retold.(less)
Come, walk with me, There's only thee To bless my spirit now - We used to love on winter nights To wander through the snow; Can we no...moreCome, Walk With Me
Come, walk with me, There's only thee To bless my spirit now - We used to love on winter nights To wander through the snow; Can we not woo back old delights? The clouds rush dark and wild They fleck with shade our mountain heights The same as long ago And on the horizon rest at last In looming masses piled; While moonbeams flash and fly so fast We scarce can say they smiled -
Come walk with me, come walk with me; We were not once so few But Death has stolen our company As sunshine steals the dew - He took them one by one and we Are left the only two; So closer would my feelings twine Because they have no stay but thine -
'Nay call me not - it may not be Is human love so true? Can Friendship's flower droop on for years And then revive anew? No, though the soil be wet with tears, How fair soe'er it grew The vital sap once perished Will never flow again And surer than that dwelling dread, The narrow dungeon of the dead Time parts the hearts of men -' (less)