|Title: Band-Aids, Bullet Holes and Bleeding Words
By: Carina Pellius
Categories / Themes: poetry, love, death, life.
Read: 15th November, 2016 – 18th November, 2016
Rating: 5 / 5
Crossposted Review to: Goodreads
Band-Aids, Bullet Holes and Bleeding Words is a selection of poems by Carina Pellius. They were written since age 11 to present day. Many of the works feature some sort of taboo topic, including (but not limited to) abortion, euthanasia and suicide.
There’s no definite organisation that I can see and it kind of works well for the book. We begin the book with some fairly innocent poems, then we read into some eye-popping numbers, after which we go back to some fairly tame works. My favourite of the included poems is definitely “Who do you see?” on page 49 (it might vary in other editions, for future reference). It spans three pages and asks the reader to consider their appearance. How does it differ from the models and popular people that you might see on TV and in shop windows? It asks for you to consider how the media uses bullying to change and manipulate you. In my opinion, it has some honest and blatant points about appearance. I think the strangest poem is “I need to pee” on page 55. Though quite a real experience for many involved, it gave me quite a laugh. A bonus favourite is the untitled work on page 59 about long distance relationships; I appreciate the warm feelings it evoked from me. Not everyone thinks that long distance relationships will work, and I appreciate the happy and optimistic outlook on the matter.
The innocent ones are fairly simplistic and give a good example of youth and naivety. Others are kind of disturbing. I’m not offended by them, I would like to mention. However, they are fairly graphic and feature some strong themes such as domestic abuse, abortion, suicidal intentions and euthanasia (and that’s just to name a few). I certainly do appreciate these works; I like the way Pellius has thought to include such startling examples of life and death. It’s nice to see that she isn’t afraid to write about such things or to try and hide away her feelings on the matters at hand. Mind you, I’d like to also point out that not everyone is going to agree with the themes or the way the characters deal with such situations. Just be warned that you might take offense or be upset by some of the opinions and events. In that respect, I also think it’s good to show such a wide range of situations that many will relate to. These days, many people will have experiences with things like suicide and domestic violence. Even if not in person, many people have seen example of such things on television. Even if you can’t relate to the poetry, I think that Pellius has written good stories of the scenarios. Many of these poems are like little short stories with special characters and she evokes some pretty powerful scenes from them.
Aside from the poems dealing with taboo topics, there are some really special portions. They are sweet moments that bring a smile to my face. Some of them are untitled and featured in between other works. There are also some very considerate poems such as “Sister”.
I think it’s one of the more stark poetry books I’ve read over the years. It really does have some additions that make you think “aww” or “wow!” Many might be turned off by certain themes, but I really do appreciate the insights Pellius has to offer. The writing style the author uses is easy to understand and she uses some well contorted sentences that make many portions really powerful and emotional. Even if you don’t read much poetry, the book is definitely worth a read.
I won a copy of this book via Goodreads Giveaways and these are just my honest thoughts on it.