Okay, so I have to admit that I’m a bit nervous posting this. Why? Because it’s my first official review in english on my blog. I’ve reviewed books in english before, but only on other platforms where they aren’t directly linked to my blog. I’m a bit – not to say a lot – insecure about my english skills, it’s not my first language and I’ve always struggled with it throughout school. But then again I remind myself that I can’t learn and grow when I’m not putting my skills to the test. So, that’s was this is.
Welcome to my first review – hopefully you can read it without stumbling over countless spelling or grammar errors. (But when you find some please point them out so I can learn from my mistakes.)
A journey of agency. What is anger – and isn’t some anger righteous? Shy Anger is a feminist poetry collection of 100 poems divided into three parts and explores agency, depression, nostalgia, and joy. Intertwined are experiences across time, beliefs, and geography as a wanderer and the narrator look to express themselves.
Shy Anger is a poetry collection in three parts that tells of the ways women are treated in the current (american) society. I was interested in this book because of the title, I found ’shy anger‘ quite an unusual phrase and at the same time it was incredibly fitting. ‚Anger‘ is mostly conceived as something explosive, something full of loud, demanding force. How could it be shy? But – as in many cases – an emotion can be shown in more than one way which is something the author played with in this poetry collection.
There are two voices in this collection: the lyrical I and the wanderer who shows up ocassionally. Most poems are told by the lyrical I and seem to shine a light on the many societal roles women can have: mother, daughter, wife and all of them are influenced by cultural differences. I can’t speak for the representation in some poems, there are some cultural influences like one time there is mention of a sari which hints to indian culture. But I’m a basic white privileged girl from germany so my experiences are not the same. But I enjoyed the mention of different cultures and religions, it just shows that the world is not so stereotypical white as most of the media shows and I am happy for every book, film or tv-show that teach me something and show how diverse our world is. The depiction of these roles show in how many ways women can struggle and how often they suppress their anger for various reasons. And I love to see the nuances with which people and woman in general can experience anger.
some nighst I ask the sky,
why have you given me empathy –
what can I do with it
in a country soaked in blood?verse from the poem ‚exhaustion‘
I would be lying when I’d say I understood the purpose of every poem. That is simply not possible because for two reasons: english is not my first language and in some moments the message behind a text escapes me and second: there where a lot poems. But I collected some of my favourite lines and phrases nevertheless and want to share them because they felt right and made me feel something, like an universal truth.
he casts blame
like the sun casts shadows,
as compliant as the mother tongueverse from the poem ‚blame‘
While reading this poetry collection I felt that I – as a woman – am allowed to feel and show anger too, that it is an emotion with a justified position. I can’t count of often I’ve read or seen a woman suppress her anger, how often ‚being emotional‘ is held against us. It felt nice to read these poems, lose myself in this collection and I felt seen. It is incredible empowering reading or hearing from other woman who have had the same experiences and don’t want to feel systemically judged anymore.
we acknowledge the clouds
but see only starsverse from the poem ‚looking up‘
Shy Anger is a poetry collection that I enjoyed for its message and creativity. I felt empowered and understood while reading it and can therefore recommend it.
*I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
*Thank you to BookSirens for the eARC.