Blue is my favorite color, so it is already biased opinion. But, going deep with the cover, with the essence and age, I think the sky fits the word so well. We’re all under the same sky, but it is never the same—we are never the same.
Essence of An Age is the first poetry collection by Lydia Redwine and explores the depths of the heart, mind, and soul during the years where one is finding that they are growing up. Its emotional imagery will sweep readers into a world as real as their own, a world dealing with the dualities of life. The salt and sugar. All that is experienced in love and growth.
The title and cover already got me, but the blurb is something else. Tell me about growth, I’ll be all ears. I think this is very creatively written. We all have those little moments that make us go “Oh, I’m an adult now.” Right? Or is it just me? Growing up is as exciting as it is frightening. We all go through it.
There isn’t really something special in Lydia’s style of writing, but some of her words are still better than two-liner poetry you will find in modern poetry books. Hers is lengthy, like writing in a diary—well, she is telling her story.
At first, I couldn’t connect with it. I thought the verses have inconsistent and awkward rhythm. I am not always about poetry that rhymes, but it confuses me when there are imbalances in words that rhyme in first stanza and go free verse on the next. I am guilty of doing this in my own pieces.
The book is divided in three parts:
I. where I consider the beginning of an end
first felt myself on the cusp of exodus
when monsters beneath my bed
became a matter minuscule to monsters in my head
When I say I could not connect with it, I mean that it does not resonate—in the first part, at least. It is so young and youthful, but a very different one from how I remember mine. Usually, the words speak to you because you are going through the same thing. I could not find myself in Lydia’s words, but she wrote the pieces in ways that you could interpret it in whichever way you want it.
I know poetry and arts are like that, but for me, there are poems that I already kind of get what the author was telling me. Lydia is different, the settings got me confused and thinking what she meant by it. And it’s a good thing; she gave the freedom of seeing it through my own perception—not just hers. It is more than meets the eye.
Writing this now, I also realized that that is exactly what the first section is all about: the representation of youth.
II. penny for thoughts I’ll pay in silver and gold
and I’ll breathe out my own thoughts
like balloons he’s painted on his ceiling.
He will become the most bittersweet thing in my life.
like a blackberry that was too ripe.
It is my least favorite section because I feel like there are too many repetitions of words and thoughts. Dusk. Dust. Milk. Honey. Dandelion dust. Polaroid. Neon. Simulate’s core. Though, I would like to think that it is an emphasis. It is all about young love that bloomed and withered. It is all part of the youth after all.
III. acceptance through transcendence
Acceptance as the keyword, we all eventually get there after a long journey. Perhaps, it’s a life-long one, too. Also, there are photography and art inside the book! Each tells a story, too.
I find there’s still a wishing well in my backyard,
but I hardly drop my constellations in it anymore.
I find that I still bear a bottle of lilac tears,
but now I wear those tears as diamonds beneath my eyes
Her touch silences the storms
rattling my ribcage,
as if she, too, could walk on
the tide that rises in my stomach.
⚑ I was glad to receive a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I hope you can give it a read as well. I recommend! 🙂