Book Review: Hush by Nicole Lyons
Before joining WordPress last October, I had truly forgotten the joy that both reading and writing poetry can bring. Most of the poetry I had been exposed to in high school and college literature classes were generally literary accomplishments to be admired, not emotional experiences of be savored. Finding Nicole Lyons’ poetry on The Lithium Chronicles was a revelation. Here was poetry that not only wove a tapestry of beautiful language, but was also raw, confessional, ignored traditional rules that had always felt so confining to me, and whispered to the hidden places in my heart, my soul.
Once I discovered Lyons’ unique poetic voice, I eagerly awaited the release of her first book of poetry, Hush. Hush quickly became a collection of poems that I wanted to get lost in while forgetting about the rest of the world, while simultaneously wanting to slowly savor each poem like an exquisite piece of chocolate, some holding rich caramel, others containing the fire of chili pepper.
Every poem in this carefully curated volume hums with energy and feels painted in vibrant jewel tones. Whether she is writing about obsessive love, heartbreak, the dizzy spin of mania, or the weight of depression, Lyons’ imagery is gorgeous, a sensory feast. She has the incredible ability to pull the reader through the looking glass to stand beside her so that we also get to experience the intense rush of feelings each poem evokes.
In A Furious Ascension, she captivated me with such lines as
“where held breath burns
Against walls of lungs
She again took me out of myself with the vivid imagery from Junk, where she writes:
“I swear if were to rip
Myself open, it wouldn’t be blood
That poured out of me,
It would be him.”
At times Lyons is tender such as In Under Red Skies where she writes:
“It was somewhere
Inside of forty-five
Mile an hour winds
And the second bottle of wine
Where I fell
Frequently, she is fierce and elemental, as she is in The Ties That Bind which vibrates with disdain for hometown hypocrites and her reclaimed power:
“And I have spent a lifetime
Looking upon their glass houses
While I untangled myself
From their ties, and now
they are nothing more
than ink, smudged,
between these pages.”
Nicole Lyon’s poems are breathtakingly vibrant and alive. I had too many favorites to list in this review. I fell head over heels in love with Sticky Sour Dancing, I Will Love You, Amnesia, and In All That I Am. Hunger Pains captured the intensity of young love that I remember with such longing and Perhaps I Will Eclipse literally gave me the chills. Every poem in this volume was a treat to read and brought me to its own place emotionally. Hush is a thrilling poetic roller coaster that I want to ride again and again.
© 2017 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All rights Reserved
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