I have said many times that reading Poetry is not my jam. I have mostly gotten over my entrance issues with science fiction and graphic novels/comics but Poetry still often trips me up. The funny part? I’ve been known to write it, but reading a collection can be too much, and I think that’s the real problem – a collection of poetry, of really good poetry is likely going to feel like too much.
At times, Sabrina Benaim’s first published collection Depression & Other Magic Tricks did feel like too much, and I think I might finally understand that is really a good thing.
As I mentioned in my review of No Matter the Wreckage, I am a fan of spoken word and Benaim is one of the most-viewed performance poets of all time. Her poem “Explaining My Depression to My Mother” has over 7,000,000 views. I’m not sure what writing to perform does to the structure of poetry, I leave that to you who study mechanics and craft to tell me, but whatever it is, it works.
This wasn’t a perfect collection for me, but it may be for you. I did however feel seen, felt as though the person writing these poems, or at least many of them, knew the world the way I did and was able to get that knowledge out of themselves and back out into the universe, where it belongs so we can know that we aren’t alone. It is one of the best magic tricks I know.
This book was read and reviewed as part of the charitable Cannonball Read where we read what we want, review it how we see fit (within a few guidelines), and raise money in the name of a fallen friend for the American Cancer Society.