Avery Reviews –
If My Body Could Speak by Blythe Baird
Where do I even begin!? I can distinctly remember the first time I stumbled across Blythe’s poetry. Sitting on my bed back at my childhood home, probably at some ungodly hour, and down a rabbit hole of Button Poetry videos on YouTube. “The Kindest Thing She Almost Did” was the first poem I ever heard by her, and the rest is history. I would highly recommend listening to her perform any one of her slams. For me, it was earth shattering. This is one of those books that felt like it shifted my entire world. I have a signed copy (again, thanks Mom!) and it is one of my most prized possessions. It’s my answer to the question“What one object would you save if your house was burning?”.
Feminism, lesbianism, dealing with mental illness… What more could I possibly want out of a book? It’s the first and only book that has ever made me cry. I devoured it the moment I received it. Reading this book felt like coming home to myself. It felt like my very soul had been opened up. Even now when I revisit it, as I so often do, it makes me feel like Blythe and I are the only two people in the world. Like for those few moments, nothing else around me exists. It’s just me, and the words on those pages. It helps that I relate so strongly to the contents of the book. It resonates in the deepest parts of me. It has made me feel such a way that I don’t even think I have the language to adequately describe. If you haven’t already gathered, this is absolutely my favorite poetry book I’ve ever read. Or maybe just my favorite book in general.
Long story short, Blythe Baird is an absolute gift. The way she delivers her poetry in slams, and the way it translates on the pages both have such a profound effect. Seeing a young lesbian from my own neck of the woods bloom into such a successful poet fills me with my own confidence. I give Blythe full credit for giving me the courage to finally pick up a pen and put my poetry to paper. Now I’m writing regularly, and it has been so healing. I could never thank her enough for opening me up to that experience. I would not be this exact version of myself without this book. It’s beautiful, heartbreaking, sarcastic, and just about everything in between. It’s an art form of its very own. It makes my heart break and feel so full all at once. I couldn’t possibly recommend it more.
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