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TITLE: What Kind of Woman: Poems
AUTHOR: Kate Baer
RELEASE DATE: November 10, 2020
PUBLISHER: Harper Perennial
GENRE(S): Poetry, Family and Relationships
Thank you to Harper Perennial for my gifted arc.
A stunning and honest debut poetry collection about the beauty and hardships in being a mother, a wife, and a woman.
“When life throws you a bag of sorrow, hold out your hands/Little by little, mountains are climbed.” So ends Kate Baer’s remarkable poem “Things My Girlfriends Teach Me.”In “Nothing Tastes as Good as Skinny Feels” she challenges her reader to consider their grandmother’s cake, the taste of the sea, the cool swill of freedom. In her poem “Deliverance”about her daughter’s birth she writes “What is the word for when the light leaves the body?/What is the word for when it/at last, returns?”
Through poems that are as unforgettably beautiful as they are accessible, Kate proves herself to truly be an exemplary voice in modern poetry. As easy to post on Instagram as they are to print out and frame, Kate’s words make women feel seen in their own bodies, in their own marriages, and in their own lives. Her poems are those you share with your mother, your daughter, your sister, and your friends.
While poetry isn’t something I gravitate to, I opened these pages just planning to thumb through, and found myself recognizing myself in almost every page. Told in three parts: womanhood, marriage, and motherhood, this collection of poems spoke to me. The truth in these verses was real and raw.
College Boy in part one was absolutely devastating.
One Thousand Wives in part two demonstrates just how many faces a wife must don in her life.
But it was part three that I connected most with. Poems like Motherload, which catalogue where we hold onto things inside our bodies and minds; Childhood, which was short but definitely gave me the feelings of just knowing my mom was there every day; What Mothers Say, which perfectly captures all the things we moms say on almost a daily basis while caught up in the monotony of life.
This was such a great series of poems and I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to open up something that I may have never knew existed. Reading this was like chatting with a sister, or mother, or girlfriend.