September Love by Lang Leav
Published by Andrews McMeel Publishing on November 3rd, 2020
“I used to think love had no limits—
but I draw the line at myself.“
*ARC received by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Oof it’s been awhile since I’ve read poetry! So thank you to Netgalley and Andrews McNeel for the advanced copy of September Love so I can get back into the genre. I’d previously read Sea of Strangers by Lang Leav back in 2018. I enjoyed it, but none of the poems left a lasting impression on me. But I have a different opinion on September Love!
In this new collection of poems and prose, Leav explores love, relationships, heartbreak, and self-empowerment. Topics that she’s written about before, but this time with a new perspective. Leav captures the magic of each passing season, she challenges perceptions, talks about breaking the rules, and dissects the secret desires we keep hidden from the world.
I write not to be known but to know myself
Leav is credited with bringing poetry to the attention of a younger audience through Tumblr. So naturally, people will criticize her poetry as “tumblr-speak.”
But detractors are completely missing the point. Leav’s poetry is beautifully composed. Simple in format, yes. But also chock-full of emotional depth.
If you’ve read Leav before, you can expect the same style and flow here. You can even expect the same kind of topics. But I feel like this particular collection of poems shows growth and maturity in her writing style and her subject matter.
Like you I am the sun that keeps setting too soon
missing the summer even while I’m here
I did enjoy reading about love, heartache, grief, womanhood, and self-love. But the poems I really gravitated toward were the ones about being an artist, her inspirations, and the reaction to her work.
Leav isn’t bringing about earth-shattering new ideas forward. But she manages to pluck the most mundane and familiar thoughts and breathe new life to them on paper.
Like a diamond
that can only be cut
with another diamond
grief is the only thing
that cuts through love
Leav always leaves me feeling understood and heard with her words. And that’s a beautiful feeling to leave when you finish a book. That’s exactly what Lili Reinhart expressed in her forward as well, which made me curious about reading her debut collection of poetry called Swimming Lessons!
May we see ourselves
in every star
that sets to remind us
who we are
This collection is powerful, poignant, and vulnerable. If you’re looking to get into poetry, I highly recommend September Love.
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