Review of Signs of Life: Poems for Remembering, Meg Bloom

Originally published on Reedsy Discovery. 

Bloom’s debut collection is immediately reminiscent of Kaur and Lovelace as she combines pithy thoughts with extended pieces which demonstrate Bloom’s talent for creating raw and honest imagery.

At times, this similarity let the collection down. My issue with the work of Kaur and Lovelace is how often the words read as discarded thoughts instead of poetry consciously crafted to evoke emotions within its readers. I often wish the four line poems in this collection, and others, were fleshed out – explored further – because instead I am left uncomfortably wanting.

Yet, Bloom illustrates a gorgeous talent for words in many of the pieces in Signs of Life. I loved the idea of the narrative journey – from Trauma to Hope. A journey one could experience in the short space of a year, or across a lifetime. The strongest chapters were Trauma, Grief, Loss and Hope.

Bloom drew metaphorical blood in nice boys

In fact I wish I felt as guilty

because resentment at my own

paralysis

stings

burns

from the place you invaded me

to the back of my throat

and tugs on heartstrings in for your children.

She reminds us all of our past heartaches in tears:

on the night you left

the ocean

licked

your footprints clean

from the sand

and I thought of you

as your sandcastles

faded

from shore

like lost ghosts

and to my unborn daughter is a beautiful reminder of the fears and hopes which accompany creation.

Thus, despite lacking originality in places, Bloom is clearly finding her voice, and I look forward to watching her blossom.

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