Title: If My Body Could Speak
Author: Blythe Baird
Genre: Poetry, LGBT+, Feminism
My Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Summary (via Goodreads):
If My Body Could Speak is about fighting for the space one takes up in a world that would rather they take up none at all. Blythe Baird deftly and uniquely charts a course through various modes of womanhood and women’s bodies. Through love, loss, and the struggles of disordered eating, If My Body Could Speak uses sharp narratives and visceral imagery to get to the heart of a many-layered existence, speaking to many generations at once.
*Disclaimer: I recieved a free copy of this via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
This is not just a book of poetry.
It’s a critique of society, of women’s place in that society, of eating disorders, of sexuality, of sexual violence that HAPPENS to be in the form of poetry.
It reminds me of some of Carol Ann Duffy’s work in places; it has that kind of feel to it, what with the line breaks and patterns across the page. It also reminds me of Amanda Lovelace’s poetry; it’s got the same kind of content.
Thing is, this book is far more raw than either of those. At first it felt a little lacking for me, without the flair or aesthetic I’m used to. It was certainly relatable, but it felt a little empty for me. However, as I read on, I found myself enjoying the bluntness of it – this is someone who is fed up with the way the world is and really couldn’t care less about wrapping everything up in fancy metaphors and imagery (though there is a little bit of that).
I particularly like ‘Everything is Fluid’; it’s a short poem regarding sexuality, and it resonated with me to the point that I just highlighted the entire thing on my kindle. It’s one of those short little poems that I’d stick up on my pin-board to remind myself that I’m not 100% alone in this kind of thing.
‘Horoscopes for Self-Doubt’ was another favourite, even if my eyes did skip straight to my star sign – that one definitely put a smile on my face, because the little piece of advice fitted exactly with what I’ve struggled with recently.
If you like feminist poetry, I’d suggest giving this book a go – it covers such a broad spectrum of subjects, chances are, you’ll find something you relate to.
Lots of love,