Rating: ★★★★ (4 stars)
Title: I Danced With Sorrow
Poet: Alicia Wright
Where to buy: Amazon
Summary: “I Danced with Sorrow is a collection of short verse poetry detailing the journey of one girl as she struggles to come to terms with what she has endured. It is split into five sections. Each is centred on a different aspect of her life, tackling various topics such as heartbreak, abuse, and finding liberation through creativity. Some of the main themes included are love, life, death, hope, loss, and the rebuilding of self. I Danced with Sorrow encourages the reader to explore the darker aspects of life, and reminds them that even after the chaos, there is still light.” (Source: Goodreads)
Content Warnings: abuse, family estrangement, bullets, blood, death, low self-esteem, body negativity, sexual imagery, poor mental health, war, one moment of violent sexual imagery, suffocation.
Wright’s debut poetry collection is incredibly immersive; the images, questions, worlds created and explored will stay with you long after you have finished.
And so, you came,
and, unlike words,
you went away.
(Moving Forward, p.67)
Wright’s writing style is fantastical yet authentic. The poetry collection evidently draws from real life experiences, however, I struggled to connect with some of the poems as I felt some of the poems were forced. This is probably just down to personal taste.
I also wish the collection had a content warning as some of the imagery was quite intense. Additionally, I felt some of the typography was a tad random, in particular, the capitalisation at the beginning of each line in some poems, but again, this is down to personal taste.
Nonetheless, some of Wright’s poems hit me hard:
What good is your crown
if it’s made of thorns
and carries the weight of your guilt?
(The Reckoning, p.64)
This poem is so powerful, so much so that I had to stop for a few minutes to absorb it.
But, to bear your words was
to shoulder mountains.
(What Changed Her, p.24)
This is an incredible metaphor. The line conveys the core meaning of the collection: survival. This poem will stay with me for a long time.
Why did I read it?
I received a free copy of I Danced With Sorrow from the author. Thank you Alicia!
Does the poet have other works?
According to Goodreads, sadly not.
An incredibly varied poetry collection that does not let you go. Wright’s writing style is captivating, all of your senses are engaged.
– Melissa Jennings