Recently I received an ARC (advance readers copy) of Kat Savage‘s upcoming book of poetry ‘Mad Woman’ and it was wonderful. Truly. This is probably the first review I’ve written for a poetry book, most of what I write is on standard prose books and so its a nice change!
Poetry has always been a strong passion of mine, I find it absolutely thrilling and an absolute joy to both read and write and Mad Woman pushes the boundaries of what is considered poetry. I say this in the nicest of manners, there is a problem I often find when it comes to poetry when people are so often quick to accuse something of not being poetry. Mad Woman is a collection of poems that experiment in form relevant to the style and feeling of the poem. Some are even in the form of little reflective, I guess, confessions and its these I feel may be accused of not being poetry, because in truth to the more closed minded reader, it may come across as just normal prose, but it isn’t. Or at least I don’t think so. Poetry is broad and often sections of prose can actually be poetry. It is in its manner, how personal it is and how it approaches emotion and objective, how it plays with words. Even the beginning of the book that is meant to give you context and a brief introduction, in which she dedicates the book for her sister, is poetic in it’s nature and leaves you with a strong sense of thought already.
Kat presents several different narratives, situations and characters that are equally as heartbreaking, and at the same time insightfully wise throughout the books progression, each feeling as if it builds upon each other to build an almost coming-of-age narrative of a ‘Mad Woman’. Poetry is meant to be from the heart, more from the heart than it is from the mind (my personal opinion) and so much of what we read is exactly that, the emotion is ever present. From bad relationships, to insecurities, to bereavement, it is a heartfelt collection of confessions and reflections.
My only issue with Mad Woman, and it isn’t a big one, is that some of the poetry seems almost lacking in something, not all but a few feel as if they could be extended, as if it is part of something bigger but has been cut down too much. At points its largely descriptive and well written metaphors come to an end that feels a little abrupt. Sometimes it works as an intentional poetic device, but for the more personal and almost endearing poems I really longed for more, which can only be a compliment.
Some great credit has to go to Ashley Elliot for the gorgeous cover design, that sums up everything that the book wants to tell in one image of a broken woman, a chilling picture that tells a poetic tale by itself.
If you understand heartbreak, if you are a human that has lived through bad or good you will connect to this book, you will feel emotion and you will bring your own situations into them, while at the same appreciating the origin. In the greatest style of poetry, Mad Woman manages to describe the feelings that in general seem indescribable in the most incredible and imaginative of ways. Kat Savage is confident in her delivery of her own personal situations and this perhaps is what I appreciate the most. What I most love in books, in articles, in anything is the personal stamp and the greatest parts of the book are found in what appears to be the most personal.