I scheduled this book just long enough ago (and my life has been just crazy enough since) that I completely forgot that it was poetry… and you know what? It was a pleasant surprise, I’m finding that I’m really loving poetry books and I’m so glad to have gotten the chance to read Danielle Holian‘s book, The Dilemma.
(By the way, here’s a link to my vlog too!)
But I do have to admit, there were definitely parts of this book that were hard for me to read. If you’ve been following me for a while this year–and especially if you’ve checked out my own poetry–you’ve probably guessed that I had a pretty rough breakup earlier this year.
So, reading this collection of poetry, which explores falling in love, falling out of it, and healing from it, was a really emotionally gut-wrenching experience for me. But I couldn’t put it down. I couldn’t stop reading.
Before my eyes, I saw my feelings, my frustrations before me. They were put in ways I couldn’t myself, and yet they weren’t mine at all, but the collective feeling of love and love lost.
I think that’s why I enjoyed this collection so much–it’s so accessible. Most of us, I’d venture, have had a rough break-up, even if it’s just between platonic friends. And Holian captures that lost feeling that settles uncomfortably in the pit of your stomach and the back of your subconscious that comes with the pain of losing someone that you spoke to every day.
The poetry itself is brilliant–I liked how diverse they were too. Some were shorter/longer, some had (vague) rhyme schemes while others were blank verse. But I also adored her author’s note at the beginning.
I didn’t know what I was doing – loving someone with every inch of my heart to the point I didn’t know who I was without them. It was truly an identity crisis. I fell in love and wrote my way out of love through this book. I grew tired of loving someone who didn’t want to love me back. Experiencing a love that was both beautiful and out of the ordinary, to the point each agony stole a day of my life that I will never get back to relive in a healthier and happier way.
I mean, c’mon, I was hooked on that alone… aren’t you? This book is just so human, so emotional, I mean the only reason I can think of why you wouldn’t like it is if you just can’t stand poetry. But even so, I think that it’s just so relatable that it’s worth giving a shot. I think it’s also just another really excellent introduction into poetry–it’s not like Shakespeare with overly complicated and antiquated lingo. Instead, it’s straightforward, raw, and frankly, kind of beautiful.
That’s all I have for now. Be sure to look out for next week’s posts on Tears Run Dry by Patrick Kalenzi.