Imagine a shift to the way you see the world that arises through poetic narration. Imagine the world, at its base level, is a collection of selves. These selves collide, disperse, intermingle, and share themselves in lines of free verse. Such is the premise of Versions of the Self, poetry that assumes multiple types of selves exist and relate in ways that alter them. Each of the eight chapters looks at a different type of self, including the singular “I” and romantic interactions. These unique 80 poems definitely color themselves outside of the lines.
Indulging in the work of a fellow blogger, whose writing you enjoy is always enjoyable so the theory is that his or her writing in book form should be even better. No screen, just paper, print and if you cram your nose really far into the book a faint scent of what I think I bizarrely plastic bags.
That may say more about my smelling habits than it does about anything else so I will leave that for another blog post… Christy writing in her usual honest and positive way engaged this reader from the very beginning of this very personal chronicle of self-examination and its accompanying realisations.
Each of the poems are direct and convey their emotions simply and fluently. There are plenty of excellent phrases scattered generously around showcasing Christy’s ability to convey maximum feeling in short bursts on the page; Which I find to be mirrored with the excellent cover design.
The book begins on a moment, a teetering between directions, it is a threshold choice taken and slowly explored and dissected. The reader is invited to watch the author explore herself and her relationships in a sincere and lyrical way and feel like we not only have an understanding of the writer but perhaps a better understanding of how we ourselves interpret and deal with things.
Regret and respect play
In my mind, dueling on
A tennis court that surrendered its
Net many years ago.
Each part of the book explores Christy’s various Selves that go into making up her singular Self, the examination of the way we interact and think with different parts of our minds on various levels. With friends loss, romance and hurt all taking their turns, I found myself compelled to just ‘read one more’ and ended up poring over the book for far longer than I had anticipated I would. Works of poetry usually demanding my contemplation before reading on. Yet in this case, I just wanted more as soon as possible.
My standout poem – if I had to pick (and I will) – was You, Colours and Realisation; an artfully realised poem of change, endings and beginnings, regret and comprehension. I also found the theme of water flowing through the book to be manifest with symbolism but above all as a cleansing ritual of which the words of strength and self understanding wash over the reader.
There is light, discovery and melancholy to be discovered in this sensitively penned portrait, the mix of emotional states makes for a varied and very readable collection, I enjoyed it and will be reading this book may times in the future no doubt but the most important thing I learnt through this voyage of self discovery is that Christy really loves her bed!