This review is spoiler free.
‘Growing up, my mother taught me
that lipstick should be reserved
only for special occasions.
Now, I wear it all the time.
I am my own special occasion.’
Published: 2019, by Button Poetry.
Format: eBook/ARC from Netgalley
Genre: Poetry, LGBT, Health, Mental Health
Contains: Body Image, Dieting, Eating Disorders, Anorexia, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Panic Attacks, Strong Language, Sexual Assault, Rape, Self Injury
I received a copy of this book from Button Poetry through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
‘If My Body Could Speak’ is a collection of poems charting a course through the various modes of womanhood and women’s bodies. It discusses love, loss, and the struggles of disordered eating with visceral imagery and sharp narratives to get to the heart of a many-layered existence.
The moment I saw this book appear on Netgalley, I knew I had to request it. As someone who struggles with disordered eating and body image in general, I’d hoped to resonate with the content in this book and understand my own thought processes a little more. Needless to say, this book did that and more.
I’d never read the work of Blythe Baird prior to starting this book, yet this definitely won’t be the last. Each poem was brutal, concise and raw. The power of words shined through the pages of each poem, flowing onto the next without taking a gasp of breath. Although, the themes explored depict a very difficult and lonely period in a woman’s life, where they may feel not enough for the world, the feelings you’re left with after completing this book are the opposite. As someone who related to a fair amount of the poems within this collection, I found myself less alone in my struggles.
Some of my personal favourites are:
- When The Fat Girl Gets Skinny
- When Your Therapist Asks
- Evolution of Healing
- Everything is Fluid
- If Your Body Could Speak
- On An Empty Stomach
Overall, I’m incredibly grateful to Blythe Baird and her bravery. The honesty throughout these pages has inspired me to confront my own battles, and do so as unapologetically as possible.
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