Book Review – The Day is Ready For You by Alison Malee

★★★★ 4 Stars

Genre: Contemporary Poetry
Publication Date: May 15th, 2018
Publisher: Andrews McMeel

Can you transform mourning into melodies? Can drowning lungs be relieved as they mold into gills? Malee can do this sort of magic with words. It should be said that there exists a tender and flimsy line between inspiring and cloying when it comes to poetry, and that this collection steadies far on the former half of that line, and that it actually is inspiring means something to me. A large chunk of modern poetry, well, let’s say it does some violent jump-rope with the line.

I think for me it has such a saturated power because it is something I feel familiarity with – it’s trying to rise from the dragging apathy life throws upon you, like dead hands pulling you down into an abyss, not because they want you alongside them but because they don’t want you free. There is always the opportunity to break from them but doesn’t it seem so rare?

The Day is Ready For You also explores some feminist themes with dignity, empathy and without blind rage, which I respect. The romantic poems I wasn’t as fond of, but I thoroughly enjoyed the earlier poems and the darker, rainier poems. They are all like the covers suggest, blossoms caught perfectly in their own spheres to shine.

Quotes

  • “This heart is deeply, deeply hidden. Like an old wooden box under the bed stuffed with secrets. / Mostly, love notes. Though also, postcards. Handprints. Glimpses. People who don’t belong anymore but are. Just are, still.”
  • “Gravity never quite drew blood from us. We spin, dizzy. We keep our feet running. Not away, only forward, they say we are only dreamers, but in dreams we become something more, don’t we?”
  • “We forge whole worlds in the pits of our stomachs. Nestle vines between our palms. Urge them to bloom but only if they do so discreetly. / We live stories. Live wars. Live wars that become stories. Become indispensable in our homes. (Yet always feel dispensable.)”
  • “Being close to you is something like blood underneath fingernails / meaning, we have been both prey and predator and somehow we are still alive.”

 

[I received a copy of this through NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.]

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