Recently I have had discussions with friends about why many of the emerging female poets tend to write about melancholic experiences. I also found that my reading and writing taste in poetry have leaned towards those types of books.
In To Bee A Honey, you will find poems of humor about relationships, finances, beauty, habits, and so much more. You will also find poems and short stories on topics like rape, domestic violence, depression, curing from feminine and feminist perspectives.
To Bee a Honey, stands out because the poems are written in ways that allow the reader to experience the book instead of merely reading it and having knowledge of its content. I formatted and altered alphabets and space to visualize the stories that each poem told.
For example, in a section of To Bee a Honey titled BITS, I wrote;
When will you stop pun.Ct;ua,ti?Ng the way you love me?
This poem makes reference to how many women especially in violent relationships have been loved in bits, broken one day and loved another day. Receiving love this way is in contrast to how women are expected to give unconditional love and affection because it is "our nature."
A few days ago, I was tempted to complain about how many of these books are becoming too similar and how I want something different. I concluded that it is either "happy women are not writing books" or that "this is a reflection of our realities as women." When women write books that call for attention to these issues, it manifests beyond poetry for fashion, it is a language for healing and an advocacy for change.
These books also bring a very human and vulnerable perspective to feminism. It is easy to be attracted to the fantasy of "wonder woman" or "super girl" because we live in a world filled with the idea that there is a savior to do what we don't have to do. Compared to these super hero fantasies, the poetry collections written by strong women like Rupi Kaur, Ijeoma Umebinyou Christtie Jay, Kat Savage, and so many others, call for change through crude honesty about personal experiences. These type of poems makes our needs as women hard to ignore.
As much as I admire the superhero feminism, that highlights where we are going, I respect the stories of women that emphasize the beginnings and current events that called for feminism. I respect poetry that refuses to silence women's experiences because that is the only way that our societies can get better.
Besides, sometimes I think that if these women only told their stories within closed walls, they would have received backlash and shame, and their pains will still remain uncatered for. These women breath in support and empathy because other women can connect to what they have written and perhaps, heal through their words. There is a universal connection that these books have created, women feel a sense of support for each other and it is unfortunate that it has to come from awful events that these important female writers capture in few words.
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