Literature Reviews

Poetry Review: The Female Animal

the female animal

Rating: ★★★★★

Title: The Female Animal

Author: Elisa Ady

Genre: Poetry

Publication Date: Unknown

Publisher: Author

Where to buy: The Female Animal

Summary: “26 blackout poems for and about girls who like girls.” (Source: Payhip)


If you know me well, you will know that I love Sylvia Plath’s writing style. At the beginning of Elisa Ady’s collection, the author informs us that the blackout poem collection was “created using The Unbridged Journals of Sylvia Plath”. You can imagine my reaction. 

Then, I began to read the collection and did not stop until the bitter end. I didn’t want it to end at all. From This Bible Is Mine to She Is Soft, I am pretty sure I didn’t breathe properly. I wish I had read something like this when I was a teenager, it would have been reassuring. Despite it not being an original work as such, I felt like I was reading something unique and something that felt like it was written for me. There are some lines that are simply too incredible not to share:

i will be black as death

and bleed for all the girls

for their juice

and secret treasures…

(Persephone and Hades Both, p.20)

To me, this particular line deliberately contrasts death with lust, which is a rather strong image, but I immediately understood it.

The Moon Made Me is the finest in Ady’s collection as the poem encompasses what The Female Animal is about – change and discovery. I love moon metaphors as it is, but the opening line of “there is a strange delight about the moon” conveys self-discovery, how we often become strangers in our own body and are subject to societal standards of heteronormativity. The moon is often a symbol for secrecy but in this case, the moon is prophetic of change.

let me gorge myself on girls

that is the dream of our age

(The Moon Made Me, p.23)

On the other hand…

I wish Elisa Ady released The Female Animal as a paperback because I really want to bookmark certain lines and mark down my own thoughts.

Why did I read it?

I found it on a Tumblr masterpost regarding poets and their works, and I was intrigued by the title.

Does the author have other works?

As far as I am aware, Elisa Ady mainly posts on her Tumblr which is – so, please check her out!


Ady’s writing is brimming with fantastic imagery that I really can’t begin to describe. Ady’s poems are exceedingly complex and overflowing with allegories. In essence, The Female Animal conveys an overwhelming desire for intimacy.

– Melissa Jennings






– Melissa Jennings

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