Sarah Kay is Bae

Hello all!

So this week has been uneventful thus far which is surprising considering I haven’t had a “normal” week since this semester started. Knock on wood. (It’s like waiting for a shoe to drop, I swear to God.) Anywho! Other than mishaps, or lack thereof, I haven’t really been up to much. Doing a lot of reading, some good some bad, which has been nice I suppose. Prynne, my cat, is officially out of the cone and is back to being herself which is a relief. A healthy, happy cat equals a happy cat momma (and a happy wallet; the vet ain’t cheap).

In terms of my reading for the week, I am going to steer this blog away from fiction for this post and aim it more towards my finicky love of poetry. I say finicky because I detest writing poetry, it’s a crap shoot whenever I analyze, and for the most part I don’t particularly like to read it — but there are a couple of poets and poems out there that I absolutely love with every fiber of my being. So for this post, I figured I would talk about the woman who helped me learn to appreciate poetry more than I have previously: Sarah Kay.

I was first introduced to Sarah Kay when my friend Shayna showed me a TED Talk. She had been trying for the better part of a week to try and get me to watch it and I kept telling her “poetry isn’t my thing”. When I finally caved because she was getting on my nerves she pulls up this YouTube video and I settled in with this assumption that I was going to hate it and have to sugar coat the fact afterward to avoid hurting Shayne’s feelings. And then Sarah Kay opened her mouth and the rest is history. Meaning that I now liked all of one poet.

From there I’ve branched out a bit: every time I read Neruda I feel warm inside, Atwood could spell out ‘cat’ on a piece of paper and I would swear it was gold, and when I read Rilke I have these horrendous cliche moments of feeling “so understood” that I sometimes need to put it down and walk away to get over how ridiculous I feel. But it always seems to comes back to listening to “B” on my way to school, or pulling up the TED talk and forcing my sister to listen to “Hiroshima” one more time. In a lot of ways, I am very grateful to Sarah Kay for showing me that the realm of poetry didn’t begin and end with Byron and Longfellow and “The Red WheelBarrow”.

“Not Matter The Wreckage” is the first complete collect of Kay’s poetry. She’s had various publications in magazines and single poems published with illustrations, but this is the first compilation that she has put out into the world. In this anthology, she addresses everything from her relationship with her parents, with her brother, with her friends, with Montauk. She talks about lost loves in a way that doesn’t come off as trite or myopic. She addresses life through her poetry with such poise and careful understanding that it kind of leaves you sitting there like “oh” for a little bit. It makes you feel empty and full at the same time, which is a very weird feeling and if I didn’t love her stuff so much I wouldn’t recommend it. But in this case, I do.

Sarah Kay has an incredible gift when it comes to language. She is able to articulate the human experience is such a way that leaves me breathless and eager for more of the slice of life that she will deliver next. “No Matter The Wreckage” is easily one of my favorite books of poetry, and Kay’s mastery of voice and way with words is something that I will likely never tire of reading or listening to.

Well, I’ll stop waxing poetical now (see what I did there? I’m so lame) — that’s it from me for now. Thanks for reading!

(Update 10 hours after posting- I said “diddling” to a police officer in reference to his other police officer friends who were running a sobriety test tonight on my drive home. I think that potentially counts as my mishap. If my awkward is the only thing I have to complain about this week then God bless.)


3 Comments Add yours

    1. Kathy Estes says:

      Hmm, a one word comment? Sounds like someone doesn’t like poetry… (I’m teasing, I’m teasing.)


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