Book Reviews, Books, Diversity, Poetry

Poetry Review: Here Are Girls Like Lions

Title: Here Are Girls Like Lions: Poems About Being A Woman

Length: 99 pages

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Release Date: March 5, 2019

This beautiful collection is designed for those who can appreciate the art poetry in all of its manifestations.

These poems are deep and complex. I was delighted to see some of my old favorites such as Mary Oliver, Margaret Atwood, and Emily Dickinson alongside other female poets who were new to me.

The collection begins with a fascinating essay that traces the the roots of feminism. Although I already knew a great deal of the information, the essay in and of itself was poetic and perfectly set the stage what the reader was about to encounter.

Although this book is relatively short, it has incredible depth. It took me several days to work through these poems because these pieces demand to be taken seriously. I found myself retreading all the pieces and working to tease out their meaning. It was an excellent mental exercise and extremely edifying.

The collection’s opening volley is the eponymous “Here Are Girls Like Lions.” This booming number made me sit up and take notice.

This piece is then followed by a fleet footed translation of the famous Sappho. Carson does an excellent job bringing this ancient poet leaping forth into modern English.

The collection moves from references to ancient mythology, with a delightful inversion of the Siren’s song by Atwood, and at last brings the reader into the present. It is clear that the pieces have been carefully arranged. Each piece picks up on the nuances of the surrounding works. The juxtaposition of the various poems helps the reader to draw out the themes that connect the diverse poems.

My favorite aspect of this collection was the excellent diverse representation of female poets. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing my sisters’ voices from across the world. I was also introduced to many poets who were entirely new to me.

The book is ornamented with bright and colorful illustrations that add a depth as well as a sense of untamed wildness to the poems. These illustrations make the perfect compliment to the text.

I highly recommend this book to all lovers of poetry, especially if you are interested in the voices of women or other traditionally marginalized groups.

Note: I received a free digital advanced reader copy from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

Who are some of your favorite female poets? Let me know in the comments below!

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