In her collection of poetry Poison Pen Letters to Myself, Romany Rivers takes us through her life while dealing with depression and making her way through it to the light at the end of the tunnel. She shows us firsthand how depression can affect every part of someone’s life, and how that struggle impacts everything from the decisions we make to the smallest day to day tasks we all must do to survive. The book starts out at her lowest point and takes us through her journey to find happiness. For those of you who have an appreciation of poetry and how it gives us an understanding of another person’s mind and what they are experiencing, this is the book for you.
In the introductory poem “Unexpected” she makes the statement “These words were not intended as a way of reaching other wayward wandering souls.” I understand where she is coming from; I have to admit, that, after reading it I immediately connected with her words. I felt as if they were written entirely for me, to me, and about me.
Although they may have not been intended for such I was hooked and only wanted more. I wanted to drink in all she had to offer. Not only wanted it, but needed it. She captured not only my attention, but brought me to the place where she resided, whether it be in the darkest or lightest realms.
Most people hold to the rule that books are intended to be interpreted differently by whoever is reading them. As a writer, I am always in hopes that my writing is at least partly (ok maybe more than partly) interpreted as I have written it. And, whether or not the reader can relate to those circumstances that have consumed me, tormented me, or merely lifted me up. I strive to give them an understanding of how I felt, be it by relating to the material or merely understanding where I am coming from — and Rivers she has nailed it. She has shown me her feelings: the good, the bad, and the ugly. She has transformed those feelings into a compilation that has become what we writers all strive to have, a book.
If I were to choose one thing to give any constructive criticism about it would be that I would like to see more of her work on other subjects. Now that she has shared this journey with us I am packed up and ready for the next.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who reads, writes, or is itching to learn more about poetry. If you are a sponge dying to soak up more than what you have already read in the likes of poetry then pick up this book. It is worth the buy and definitely worth the read.
[Chastity King was first published in Eternal Haunted Summer in 2014. Since then she has been published in Gothic Shadows and Aphelion Magazine and is currently working on writing fiction. ]