Connections to Real Life
by Makaylan England

"I just wish life was the
way in the real world
As I pictured it in my head."

Visceral images shed light on the perennial grind that is life. Capturing the spectrum of emotions within the compilation, England’s work is relentless in tackling the chaos and the incessant feelings and temptations that darkness lays out. Essentially, the collection steers readers toward discovering and embracing their own identity, persevering through the darkness so that they can be ready in the light.

In the earlier poems, there is a distinct pain behind the smiles and laughter, best evidenced in “Just Walk and Smile.” Though there is no clear rhyme scheme, the poetry is raw, a baring of the soul to express sentiments of abandonment and isolation, feeling alone in a world of seven billion. Regardless, repetition is one of the more consistent devices England uses for emphasis, whether that is the repetition of questioning in “life” to demonstrate how life is always made more difficult than it needs to be or the word promises in “Promises,” to convey the burden of the word and how few truly value a promise. That the poetry is bold and vulnerable is an understatement as England delves into deep seeded topics of rape and suicide.

England handles the darkness with tact. However, the tide does turn with poems like “Picture in my Head,” where therapeutic measures, specifically the sound of music and crayon on paper, plant the beginning steps to healing. From friendships and trust to betrayal and emptiness, the poet covers a multitude of circumstances that life will inevitably throw at a person while ultimately delivering a final section, “Encouragement,” to give audiences the strength to weather it all and thrive.

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