Okay, so today, I’m cheating—just a little bit. Don’t worry, you will still get a Book Worms post in two weeks, but the one I wanted to do today is special.
You’re about to get a Book Worms and Poetry Place in one post, a double count if you will. First though, I want to apologize.
I haven’t done this in a while, both my poetry and my book reviews. I had good intentions with it, but things got busy and my head got a little too full to keep on top of things. But last week, I decided that my excuses weren’t enough. I’m back, just for you, with bi-weekly posts outside of my blog. Because you deserve it and there are so many gems out there that I want to share with you. SO, without further ado, here’s what I’ve got for you today.
Elizabeth Acevedo— The Poet X
It’s Black History Month and this is one of those books that I felt was important to bring a bit of attention to. As Acevedo’s first novel, this one is special because it tells a narrative, but through poetry. Every page is one of poetry, walking you through the life of main character, Xiomara. She’s just starting high school, a tumultuous time that I’m glad you all didn’t have to walk beside me though on this blog—that’s what my book is for, better and for worse if I’m honest.
Now this narrative is targeted for a younger audience than me, but it is still very easy to understand where the characters are coming from. I won’t lie, some of the writing got me emotional and made me really feel for what was happening in the lives of people I had only met a hundred or so pages beforehand.
So, I’m going to share a few with you and tell you why they’re so important. Not just for poetry or this month, but for expression and the understanding of difference. Of what we all go through at one point or another.
I’ve chosen two stanzas of three of them (I’d prefer to avoid copyright issues) that I’m hoping aren’t going to spoil anything for you. I promise I checked carefully. Just know that there are so many more than the bits I’m sharing and no matter who you are, I think you should this book check out for yourself.
Here we go.
In bed at night
my fingers search
a heat I have no name for.
Sliding into a center,
finding a hidden core,
or stem, or maybe the root.
And then He Does
She calls every year on my birthday
I’ve stopped asking her when she’s coming.
Pops and I get on just fine.
I’ve learned not to be angry
Sometimes the best way to love someone
is to let them go.
Twin asks me if I’m okay.
And my arms don’t know
which one they want to become;
a beckoning hug or falling anvils.
And Twin must see it on my face.
This love and distaste I feel for him.
He’s older (by a whole fifty minutes)
and a guy, but never defends me.
These are only three poems, three pieces of poems that Acevedo writes in her book. These are very small snapshots of the story that unfolds within the pages of a beautiful book. Whether you’re a reader, a poetry lover, or neither, give it a chance.
It’s worth it.
One thing she does that I think a lot of minority writers may not chance is write about something we don’t usually talk about. A lot of the ideas and challenges our main character faces, minority culture has a tendency to not bring them up. In order to move forward, we need to recognize where we’ve been. From things like fighting religion or sexuality to even just grades and body type, the younger generations are some of the few learning to start the conversation.
So, maybe, you’ll listen.
Through a quick glance at her work, I hope you’ve gotten something out of this. Or even just the realization that maybe there’s more to this whole thing than you realized, find out. Again, I’m sorry it’s been so long but I’m back and if there is anything you want to see from me, let me know though this or in the comments below.
And if you have any interest in getting to know the author, Elizabeth Acevedo, just a little bit more, check out her website through this link.
Let me know what you think. See you next Friday.