I’m not an avid reader of poetry but I definitely have experienced the beautiful essence of reading poetry and felt the emotions seeped into the stanzas by the poets themselves. Surprisingly, I haven’t talked much about poetry collections on this blog so I thought of quickly putting together a list of five amazing collections I will never stop recommending.
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Fierce Fairytales by Nikita Gill
With strong female characters and feminist themes, this collection takes the classic fairytales and puts a much needed twist on them by bringing important aspects like mental health, abuse, empowerment, and love. From reinforcing the strength women already possess and not regarding them as damsels in distress to exploring the grey area that exists in life, the beautiful writing and the equally beautiful illustrations are bound to win anyone’s heart. Another one of Gill’s collections, Your Heart is the Sea, is a huge recommendation from my side!
Circus Folk & Village Freaks by Aparna Upadhyaya Sanyal
A great collection of narrative poems that build eighteen twisted tales over a wide range of realistic settings, themes, and issues. Yet every tale is so different and gracefully connects the main idea with social relevance, ignorance, and inhumanity that the heartstrings are bound to be touched. From LGBTQ+ representation to mental health exploration, the book compels the reader to feel connected to even the most contorted of stories. This poetry-meets-anecdotes is surprising.
Chameleon Aura by Billy Chapata
Raw and emotional, this compelling collection is highly centred around self-love and finding peace within oneself through the idea of growing past the occurrences and evolving into a better version of oneself. Penned by a male author, the theme of hyper masculinity is rightfully challenged and the narration was so perfect that a few poems still stay in my heart from two years ago. A graceful combination of aesthetics and empowerment.
Sisters’ Entrance by Emtithal Mahmoud
A collection of reality, brutal but honest reality, and the emotions of a woman who lived through that reality herself. One of the best I’ve ever read, the themes of misogyny, patriarchy, war, violence, genocide, early marriage, domestic abuse, dowry, rape, refugee migration, and Islamophobia, are right there among the poetic lines. It’s difficult to accurately phrase how much I love this collection so all I wish to say is: please read it while keeping in mind the triggers.
Child of the Moon by Jessica Semaan
A diverse collection in terms of two-liners, one-liners, and even some prose making it to the pages along with illustrations, it smoothly explains the essence of self-love, of finding oneself before finding others who can make us happy, of growing through time and pain, and of appreciating our own beauty. Other themes explored include colonialism, immigration, and feminism that have strengthened each page even further. A dynamic set of poems filled with truth and important messages.
Have you read any of these? Recommend a poetry collection you like in the comments!