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Light Filters In: Poems

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  5,000 ratings  ·  589 reviews
In the vein of poetry collections like Milk and Honey and Adultolescence , this compilation of short, powerful poems from teen Instagram sensation @poeticpoison perfectly captures the human experience. 

In Light Filters In, Caroline Kaufman—known as @poeticpoison—does what she does best: reflects our own experiences back at us and makes us feel less alone, one exqui
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published May 22nd 2018 by HarperCollins
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Marianne (I'll write the poem backwards for you lol)
the day you first met me
I can't believe you didn't
run away.

I was a mess.
but, you kept trying even though
I …more
(I'll write the poem backwards for you lol)
the day you first met me
I can't believe you didn't
run away.

I was a mess.
but, you kept trying even though
I told you not to.

when you said I was special.
I couldn't believe

I was a failure.

you told me I could.
and one day, that was all I believed, even when
everyone told me I couldn't.

I meant something.
I no longer thought
I was worthless

sadness and pain
were never there; for I was filled with
all the beautiful things you saw

I couldn't believe it
when you called me perfect, but
somehow, you got into my brain

(If you read my comment backward, that is how Caroline originally has it in her book of poems. Really clever of her to do this)(less)

Community Reviews

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Schizanthus Nerd
Trigger warnings are quoted below:
I talk about mental illness, self-harm, suicide, recovery, sexual assault, abusive relationships, violence, and other issues that may not be the easiest to swallow.
Caroline Kaufman is probably better known (so far) by her Instagram profile @poeticpoison. Published while still a teenager, this book is a mixture of dark and light, heartache and hope. Poetry can be very hit and miss for me and I found that to be the case with this collection as well. I con
Nov 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
And what else would I do in November but read sad, sad poetry?!
Jessica C Writes
Jun 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
This book was really well written. I felt the emotions in each poem, and I really enjoyed the metaphors.

Great read, but there are some trigger warnings to keep in mind: sexual assault, self harm, violence
Krista Regester
Feb 03, 2020 rated it liked it
A note to the author:

Why I say “died by suicide” instead of “committed suicide”: It is not a crime or sin. We are not blaming this person when we talk about how they died. Suicide is often the consequence of a mental health crisis – and should be regarded in the same way as a physical health condition. We don’t say “they committed cancer”. When we carry stigma in our language we push others away from feeling comfortable asking for help. If you are dedicating a page in your book to those who hav
Jul 25, 2018 rated it liked it
there is nothing more powerful / than a girl with a pen
these words are poetic poison

I have mixed feelings towards this collection. I have great respect to Caroline Kaufman for being able to put herself out there so unreservedly - if I could describe this in one word it would be 'brave.' She talks with painful honesty about her experiences with depression and self-harm, and it's by no means an easy read. There were also some great one-off lines which I feel had a lot of impact, and worked fantast
Alicia Cook
May 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Strong debut by this young author. Full review to come following release. Thank you to Harper for providing me an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
Kaylee D
Mar 12, 2019 rated it liked it
This book made me want to not listen to what everyone says. It is motivational but once again is telling a story that many people will not talk about. She talks about her journey and how she really struggled and that it was ok not to be ok all the time. I found that this book was kind of the same as all the others that I read. I found it hard to keep reading it because I was kind of not into it. I think it's a good book I had just read to many books like this that all have the same purpose but i ...more
Apr 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
As much as this was a hard collection for the poet to write, this was definitely a hard one to read.
Yet it was all so important.

Before picking this book up, there are multiple triggers such as self-harm, suicide, anxiety, depression etc and may I warn you that it is a raw take. If you are able to brave it, I would definitely recommend this as it was worth the read.
Reading_ Tam_ Ishly
Aug 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
"I've spent so much time
trying to become who I should be
that I lost myself along the way."

I just love this collection.

The art in between is just amazing.

This collection talks about identify, abuse, acceptance, mental health (depression, anxiety, suicide, self-harm), childhood and innocence, writing and poetry.

It's so personal.

I can feel you and understand you.
J & J
Aug 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Impressive. Even more so considering the author's age. What an inspiration to young writers as well as anyone (but especially teens) going through life's hardships. ...more
Elvina Zafril
Jan 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Updated Review

This book is about mental illness, self-harm, suicide, recovery, sexual assault, abusive relationships, violence and some other issues related.

The writing was good though I feel some of the poems kind of repetitive. It’s like I know what the author was trying to say and it kept repeating. All the poems are easy to understand. I liked few of the poems that I can relate to for example depression. Some of the poems made me feel sad because somehow I felt it related to me. At least one
march ⚡️
Aug 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Light Filters In: Poems is such an incredibly powerful book of poems. Caroline’s words are able to portray such raw emotion that really let you experience her feelings. This book was so emotionally jarring that i couldn’t put it down. I love this book so deeply and highly recommend it to anyone.
Jul 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
There are a lot of trigger warnings in these poems. The author opened up her heart and bled out in her words. It was brave and so very sad.
I am not really one to read poetry, but I admire it so much. To be able to put all your emotion into just a few words is a gift. These poems are tragically beautiful. But be prepared to pull out your tissues and weep for the brave girl in these words. And then applaud her for the work she has done and is doing every day.
Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
When it comes to instagram poets I've always been wary. I have read enough of the published poets of instagram to feel this way. Not all instagram poets are made equal and a publication, to me, does not necessarily mean that the poetry is good. Popular, yes. Poetic? debatable.

Truncated lines do not make a poem.

When my friend told me about Caroline Kaufman all my alarm bells were up. Another instagram poet. Yet, I knew, that I could not judge a poet by where they were first known, because there a
Anna P
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book made me cry and think multiple times because I can relate to some of the thoughts the author was having. I picked up this book because I tend to read books I can relate to very easily so I figured why not pick this one up. I loved this book a lot and I would definitely pick it up again if I had the time.
Jun 03, 2018 marked it as to-read
I need to read this because I still remember DMing this author three years ago when she was just an Instagram account that posted her poetry
Aug 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was the first poetry book that I've read and I'm so glad that I started with this! It was beautifully written and full of emotions. Lots of important issues were the themes of the poems such as mental illness, abuse, and suicide. I really admired the author for pouring her heart out and writing her personal experiences. Looking forward to read more from her!

find yourself
in a page.
look at
where you are.

find your past
in the pages
look at all that
you have survived.

find your future
in the p
Alice (Married To Books)
May 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, read-in-2020
This Kindle edition was gifted to me by a friend!

I've followed Caroline on Instagram for a few years now and absolutely love her writing style. This debut collection was a fantastic read. Raw, shocking, haunting yet beautiful and heartwarming all mixed into one. One of my new favourites for sure!
Jeannine Allison
Mar 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
My favorite...

my head is the one that's guilty,
but my soul is always blamed.
thea ♡
May 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing
you know those friends that are surrounded by that yearning potential to be even closer friends but you’re unsure of where to push to get to that point? one of those kinds of friends gifted me this book — her push. and i’ve never been so touched in my life. my heart pounds with unrestricted love and gratitude for my friend to share a piece of her heart with me. i’m struck by this act with such painful sincerity to the point where my eyes blur from barely held back tears. this was a heartbreaking ...more
This was one of the most cohesive poetry collections I have ever read. And I want to not have liked it--the slug when I downloaded it from the library (legally, guys, chill)--was 'teen instagram poetry', which is the sort of thing that is supposed to tell you everything you need to know about it. And this does have a it of rupi kaur and amanda lovelace, the poets I do not like because they are too obvious. But people have been challenging me lately to thenk beyond subtlety as my criteria for poe ...more
Emma L.
Nov 22, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooked, poetry
*** The only potential spoilery material in this review, is me sharing my favourites from this collection ***

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟 (3/5 stars).

I've always wanted to read Caroline Kaufman's poetry collection ever since she appeared in a few epic reads videos when this book came out. She is such a sweet and adorable cupcake of a human being & I have to say I'm really glad that I read her poetry collection since it is one of the very few and rare ones that I actually liked. Even the poems that didn't provok
Jun 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
So I work in a book store and realized we had a new poetry book, per usual I went and picked it up and I could not put the book down. Throughout the book you really get to see what it is like to be someone who deals with anxiety and depression, and the thoughts that go through someone's head when they are going through it. As someone who has anxiety, and who has depression; I related to this book on an entirely new level than I usually can. Through the entirety of this book, Caroline is extremel ...more
may ☆彡
Aug 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
be grateful that
time will heal
the wounds but
leave the scars.

how else will you
remember all that
you’ve survived?

Light filters in is an amazing collection of heartbreaking and bittersweet poems. I was crying my way through this book; it’s absolutely amazing that someone so young can write so beautifully. While it does deal with some very heavy topics, (i.e. cutting yourself, depression, rape culture, mental illness) it helps you understand some of the very difficult things many people go through in
Ameema Saeed
Feb 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, arcs, poetry
* technically * I only read the sneak peak, but this is raw, and beautiful, and sad, and hopeful, and childish, and profound, and angsty, in the way that somehow only teenagers can be.

This was my first taste of Caroline Kaufman’s poetry, and I am very excited to read the full poem.

I’m an Indigo Employee, and I received a sneak peak of this book, in exchange for my honest feedback.
Chelsea (ChelsBookStop)
May 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I took my time with this book. Reading only a few poems every other night. This book deserves that. It’s not poetry you can devour. It’s dark, dangerous, and some of them are triggers. For me especially. This doesn’t take away from the beauty of these poems. You can tell the author went to a very scary place to write these words down. Such a remarkable book.
Ashley Neuhaus
Jun 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Talented. The writing from this author is just beautiful. I rarely can connect to someone’s poetry, but this was the exception. By far one of the best poetic souls I’ve come across.
Jade Caprio
Jun 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Poetry is such a hard thing to review.
It was well written. It was powerful. It was emotional.
But it did not connect with me because my experiences did not align with the authors. Simple as that.
3 Stars for the style, 5 Hearts for the content

I didn't know the author, her account, her online fame, the hype, so I went into this collection with no expectations. I love poetry, I wrote too. This was a gift and the more I read it, the more I understood the reason it had been chosen for me...the message came through and I'm grateful.

I was comfortable with the way it was written and compiled, it surprised me (in a good way) there was so much rhyming and after a clumsier start, it kept getting
Jan 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is lyrical, painstakingly beautiful and it wasn't an easy book to read. The poet includes some of her personal experiences of having mental illness, self harm, suicide, recovery, sexual assault, abusive relationships, violence and the pain of all that. But despite the darkness of the topics it cover, I could still find the light and the raw beauty that filters in this poetry book.

I really love the metaphors and how the poems were written. I also especially love the illustrations that c
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Caroline Kaufman—known as @poeticpoison on Instagram—began writing poetry when she was thirteen years old as a means of coping with her depression. A year later, she started posting it online, and what started as a personal way to combat mental illness eventually became an account with hundreds of thousands of followers across social media.

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