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Young Adult Nonfiction 54
A Timely Collection
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This is a quick perusing read--the whole collection coming in at about 99 pages, with poems ranging from just 4 or 5 short lines all the way up to 2 1/2 pages with fairly dense coverage.

Thakur is a young United Kingdom based poet with a lyrical, somewhat tangential style. (Readers may note the British influence is noticeable less in her word choices than it is in a handful of references with specific social and political significance.) Topics also vary widely, encompassing and expressing aspects of depression, anxiety, self-harm, toxic relationships, identity, racism, romance, loss... Many with an overarching coming-of-age theme.

The book itself is divided into four sections: Grow, Wait, Break, Grow Again. And while there is great topical variety, the order seems largely random.

My feelings are a bit mixed on this experience. From a poetical preference standpoint, just a handful of these works resonated or lingered in my recollection. (I have a penchant for viscerally evocative diction and emotionally potent turn-of-phrase.) Some pieces--particularly the short ones--were more lacking in cadence than I would have liked. But there were a few that stood out as truly wrenching and vulnerable. Among them Forever Death, Fighting as Strangers, and Sprouting. The later of which contains my favorite stanza in this collection:

Maybe one day, by accident, you'll take a sip or dip
in the river that healed me. And in swallowing,
taste all of the things that could have killed me,
but instead, helped me grow into everything that you swore
I could never become without you.

All in all, a promising debut. This is certainly a poet worth watching as she continues to grow in her craft and come into her own.
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