When the World Didn’t End: Poems
In her second book of poetry, Instagram sensation Caroline Kaufman—known as @poeticpoison—explores the shock, wonder, and beauty of an uncertain future.
When the World Didn’t End is a vivid account of trying to find a path forward while reckoning with the pain of the past, embracing imperfection, and unlearning the language of self-criticism.
It’s an ode to the awkward silence between goodbye and hanging up, to hearts that continue to beat after they’re broken, to the empty spaces that depression leaves behind. With vulnerability and insight, this powerful collection of short poems holds up a mirror to the doubt and longing inside us all.
This collection features completely new material plus some fan favorites from Caroline’s account. Filled with haunting, spare pieces of original art, When the World Didn’t End will thrill existing fans and newcomers alike.
how will you make the most of it?
how will you live the life you never thought you’d get the chance to see?
This book is split into three sections, “what was,” “what could have been,” and “what became.” Unlike similar poetry books that have been published recently, Kaufman’s overall tone is hopeful. She repeats over and over again how she wants to live now that she’s faced her trauma- and for that reason alone, this book could genuinely save others. She is giving readers hard, tangible proof that it does get better.
My favorite poem in this collection is the one about the femur bone being the strongest bone in the human body. According to Kaufman, it’s supposed to be stronger than concrete. However, she broke her femur bone when she was two years old, which she used to take as proof of her weakness. Now, she sees only her resilience and her ability to recover. I love the meaning in this poem and in others like it. Because her poetry is so brutally honest, it makes us hold a mirror up to our own lives and asks us to examine ourselves in the brave way Kaufman already has.
Overall, fans of Instagram poetry and micropoetry will enjoy Kaufman’s work. Her style is similar to that of Rupi Kaur, R.M. Drake, Atticus and other contemporary poets. If you’re more a fan of the traditional, structured, or even rhyming poetry, this may not be the book for you. That aside, Kaufman addresses the darkest moments of her life with the most beautiful words, and for the artistic experience alone, this book is worth reading.