Siham's Reviews > Did You Know?

Did You Know? by Elizabeth S. Wolf
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it was amazing

This book needs to be read from beginning to end, and once you begin, it will grip you into the world of Elizabeth Wolf, a world you will need to follow wherever it goes. I have difficulty standing on my feet, especially at the end of a long day, yet once I picked it up, with zero expectation that I would even be interested (yes despite the engaging cover), I decided to start with the first one. I stood on my feet, riveted, in the (walk-in) closet, unable to put it down until the last memorable, emotion-packed-but-restrained line.

This has changed my idea of what poetry is or must be. I’m a huge fan of craft, especially formal craft, in poetry. And this book is very well-written, a simple and direct narrative with none of the “we’re going to reinvent language by using outlandish imagery” methods popular among major literary journal editors. But what it says, the story of a lie that destroyed the lives around the liar, a secret created by failing to tell a simple but painful truth, is its strong point, a powerful testament to how important honesty is. It is the exact and most important message we need to hear at this moment in history, when truth itself is being deliberately undermined for personal political gain. It also tells the story of how women’s lives were so terribly constrained, how they were denied agency over their most basic needs. And many women to this day suffer from such treatment. Patriarchy is still alive and ruining lives.

I would say its message and style are on the same page: “honest and direct” as a poetic style shows us what happens when one chooses to hide an important truth. The book has made a powerful impact while nothing is overstated. Some important questions remain unanswered, as they should be. Wolf opened up her heart and world, such an unusual tale, and kept me on my feet, mind transported, even forgetting that I was standing. And when I remembered I didn’t give a damn.

Rattle chapbooks are all Contest winners and are consistently very good and surprising. But this is one of the best. The main point of poetry is in fact to get us to see things in a new way, to awaken us to truths we didn’t notice before. The author succeeded in leaving me entirely transformed. Highly recommended.
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Reading Progress

July 1, 2019 – Started Reading
July 1, 2019 – Finished Reading
July 2, 2019 – Shelved

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