*ARC RECEIVED FROM NETGALLEY IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW*
"They have lightning in their souls, thunder in their hearts, chaos in their bones."
Nikita Gill's poetry has captured hearts and minds all over the world; her inspirational words have been shared hundreds of thousands of times online, been plastered across placards on international women's marches and even transformed into tattoos. This collection will showcase mostly unseen poetry and prose, delving into ideas about passion, identity, empowerment and femininity.
Poetry is not something I like to give star ratings to as it is so subjective and individual to each person that reads it. I felt many of these poems on a deep level, even though it was clear the author and I had gone through very different situations.
Wild Embers is a feminist collection. It is empowering and inspirational. It is heartbreaking, emotional, beautiful, and uplifting all at once. It is an assemblage of words that will stick with me for a long time and that already helped fix some wounds in my heart.
I'm not sure how to review poetry. It's a new thing for me. I suppose, in the same way poetry follows its own course and formats itself in the way it needs to be told, I shall review this in the only way I can - from my heart. Who knows? Maybe this review is poetry in itself.
I like poetry. I like the simple complexity. I like the quickness. The individual tales that come together as a whole. There are no rules in poetry. It is so vulnerable.
I have read one other poetry collection, which I'm sure we can all guess - yup, Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur - I have also read One by Sarah Crossan, along with some Carol Ann Duffy (most of which I studied for Higher English at school), so I am by no means a poetry expert but nonetheless it is something I grow to love with each poem I read.
Gill's collection focuses on women. It focuses on heartbreak and self-care. It deal with abuse, trauma and recovery. It deals with the way society raises girls and teaches them that men are all powerful gods that should get whatever they want whilst you look pretty for them. This collection kicks those ideals in the arse and rewrites fairytales and mythology to empower young girls and show them that they are just as powerful and important as boys.
This collection sparked my anger at society. It fuels my feminist flame. It makes me hurt for the women who have gone through abuse but just put up and shut up because that's what the patriarchy tells them they have to do.
There are poems in here that spoke to me on an almost spiritual level. There are words that felt like they had been written for me. I found myself choked up and teary at points. I highlighted an innumerable amount of sentences just to look back on and remind myself that I am beautiful, strong, miraculous. That I have worth and that I am not the piece of trash he made me believe I was.
There are poems about heartache. About breakups and bad relationships. There are poems about finding yourself, about healing, about loving you and your body. There are poems about your daughter, your son, about how to raise them to love themselves and each other.
Gill taught me a lot about myself in the 30-60 minutes I spent with her in this book. She opened my eyes to ways of thinking, to believes I needed to grasp in order to grow, to heal, to find me. This woman is incredible and has somehow managed to use her pain to help others through it. Give this to your teenage daughters. Read it first, then give it to them. Give this book to every woman you know. It still has me choked. It has me yearning to go back and read it once more. And then again and again and again.
I am in awe, and I am inspired. These poems helped heal wounds I didn't even know I still had. They were the medicine I needed to patch myself up and to stop holding myself back.