Rating: ★★★★★ (5 stars)
Title: You Are The Map
Poet: Michelle Tudor
Where to buy: Amazon
Summary: In the winter of a love story, feelings become your guide. But as worlds shift and seasons change, memories last forever. Twenty-five poems follow this journey; a map to the heart of relationships. Through lust and love to despair and descent. (Source: Goodreads)
Content Warnings: themes of loneliness, loss, intimacy, depression.
I originally gave this collection four stars, but after returning to review it, I couldn’t believe the difference in how I felt – I think the variable was my mood. When I first read Tudor’s collection, I was settling down for bed and wanted to unwind, so I decided to read something short and sweet. Then, upon my second reading today, I was interested in why I gave this collection four stars as I don’t tend to give poetry collections four stars that often (I think anyway), so I reread and was moved deeply by this collection. I literally felt my heart ache with the speaker who was experiencing a breakdown of a passionate relationship. Tudor’s control of language was poetically devastating.
Here are some of my favourite lines from Tudor’s collection:
the rise and fall of your chest
like the waxing and waning of the
Moon metaphors are among my favourite, but this particular metaphor is stunning as it emphasises the intimacy of the relationship as well as its heightened/supernatural nature.
You walk like the sun bleeds only for you
(and I know that it does)
Youth is one of Tudor’s most powerful poems in this collection. This line stood out to me due to the reply in the following parenthesis, it overwhelmed me. For me, the line articulates the idea of someone having such a strong presence that it is destructive, and this can be taken both literally and metaphorically. Although the line begins in a critical tone with the speaker commenting on the addressee’s arrogance, the speaker contradicts their criticism, which suggests the intensity of their feelings towards the addressee.
Why did I read it?
Michelle Tudor’s poetry collection was originally published by Platypus Press and I have enjoyed some of their publications, such as Prelude to Light by Venetta Octavia and Wishing for Birds by Elizabeth Hewer (yet to review).
Does the poet have other works?
Michelle Tudor has written a short story collection titled Miyoko & Other Stories, a chapbook titled The Quieting, and contributed to a short story anthology titled Tell Me a Tale.
Michelle Tudor is a powerful poet and I look forward to reading more of their work. If you enjoy fervid, gripping love poetry, then this is for you.
– Melissa Jennings