Poetry for me is hit and miss. I either love it, or I hate it. It either pulls me in and makes me think and feel deeply, or it puts me off completely. Not very often do I find middle ground. Oddly enough I was reluctant to read this book because I follow Christy’s work on When Women Inspire. I love her approach, as well as the unique and resounding subjects she often tackles. She’s inspiring and supportive, and honestly I was a little worried that reading a book of her poetry might disappoint after I’ve become quite fond of her stuff up until this point. I’ve even had Versions of the Self downloaded on my Kindle for months, just waiting for me to buck up and face my lingering fearful curiosity.
Luckily for me, it didn’t disappoint! Not even close. It was far from disappointing, and I feel even more fond of Christy Birmingham and her writing because of it!
Versions of the Self is categorized by way of events and emotions. Each page tells a story of it’s own, in a very creative way. One thing that I love about this poetry is that it has sort of an abstract feel, yet the emotion poured in also gives it a traditional, old fashion type squeeze. For lack of better words I found it well-rounded, solid.
In this book Christy reveals a side of herself that most people hide. The bravery it took to expose the level of vulnerability here is absolutely commendable. Her heart and soul was tossed around by relationships, both with a lover, herself, and family loss. The angle she took to describe these events and emotions was different than anything I’ve ever read.
Christy has a way of using words to describe physical objects in her own metaphors. It’s such a breath of fresh air to read page after page where every way of thinking is out of the box. This is no cookie cutter book of poetry, and I love it that much more because of this fact. Keep making magic with words, Christy! This is truly your gift!
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.