Red by Lily Lawson

My monthly newsletter book reviews can be found on my Reviews of what I’m Reading page. But as I read more than one book a month, I leave other reviews here on my blog. They also get posted to Amazon and Goodreads.

Pure Lily – even more so!

It’s been too long since we had another poetry collection from Lily Lawson, so I’m thrilled to see this one. In earlier reviews I commented that Lily’s poems are highly relatable and leave you with a feeling of having met the author and knowing you like her very much. This is true again, with a collection which explores and exposes human emotions we all feel but can’t express so beautifully.

There’s The Vault, Sunrise, Isolation which are all emotional without being maudlin. A strong thread of compassion runs through also, in poems such as Refuge and many others; and of clear-sightedness in Perfection, Awakening, and Hate vs Love. This last I found particularly clever in the use of harsh aspirations for Hate, eg ‘powerful punch poisoning’, ‘wasting weighty word’s, versus the euphonious words and phrases for love – ‘calming lotion pouring in caressing streams.’

Buy Red here

Lily uses striking imagery too: ‘tattered ends of unfinished tasks … trailing in their wake’ and ‘Positivity crept with its torch in the night’. I can see its tentative treads, casting around to give light to the shadows.

There are poems here which reveal a dreaminess and poems which disclose strength of character and a determination not to let hate win, in any form. Which is why Recipe for Life is an apt finish to this lovely collection.

Do yourself a favour: buy this, curl up in your favourite chair and read it, knowing you will come away refreshed.