Saturday, January 7, 2012

♥♥♥♥♥♥: A Black Girl's Poetry for the World by Kimberly LaRocca

Release Date: April 13th, 2011
Publisher: CreateSpace (self-published)
Page Count: 123
Source: Complimentary copy provided by author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you!)

Kimberly LaRocca knows all about challenges, the ones we can’t control, and those we create. She also knows about standing tall and staying proud, no matter what.

While celebrating self-determination and human pride, A Black Girl’s Poetry for the World also presents insightful poems exploring all aspects of the human experience. From lost loves, strained relationships and the difficulty of forgiveness to raw anger and intense sexual desire, LaRocca ‘tells it like it is’ and literally bares her soul in her poetry.
What Stephanie Thinks: The intimacy of this collection of poems—on the life, love, and losses of Kimberly LaRocca—really puts a memorable touch on it. Narrated often in the second person, her carefully spun words really jar the reader and show them not only the trials and tribulations of her life, but more importantly, that she's overcome all of them and has emerged as the strong, radiant woman she is today.

As poetry, however, it falls a little flat. Vocabulary is simple and figurative language is mediocre, so there isn't much of a extraordinary value to the words. Everything written is very honest and raw, though, so that makes it really personal and relatable. The wording is sometimes awkward, and some metres have ill-fitting word choices for the sake of rhyming patterns. I cannot stress enough that rhyming does not make for good poetry. Sometimes, if used improperly, it can even detract. But I'm not the author, so I have no place to dictate; I'm just saying the poetry would have flown a lot more naturally had it not been forced to rhyme.

I like how the poems (each no more than eight stanzas, or one page) come together to make up the "autobiography" of LaRocca. Of course, nothing is ever clear-cut and as poetry, her life story is open to interpretation, but the basic foundation the reader gets is pretty solid. I wouldn't say this collection of poems is anything phenomenal, but it sure is a frank, sassy, easy read that demonstrates the value of being able to hold one's head high even after a heartbreak, as well as the value of learning to dance in the rain after the storm.

Stephanie Loves: At one point, we all get fed up with a lost love, fed up with constantly caring and being the one who gets hurt, so we become determined to make them feel in every which way, as if they're the one who lost something good. LaRocca describes this emotion perfectly in A Love Like Mine:
You're gonna miss me when I'm gone.
Miss what we had,
The way I kissed you late at night.
You're gonna miss me so damn bad.

You say you don't care,
That there are many more like me.
I really hope you find her soon,
So you can finally see.

Yeah, you think you know it all,
Thing it's all a big game.
But time will tell,
And your heart will know
She and I aren't the same.

Go ahead.
Make your move.
And please, hold your breath
Until she loves you like I do.
"—it's like this: I am the best he has ever had (and will ever have), but he won't know it til I'm gone. Appeasing in a really bitchy, determined way. I like that sort of power trip (because 100% of the time, he's the one who comes running back anyway).

Radical Rating: 6 hearts: Satisfying for a first read, but I'm not going back. ♥♥♥♥♥♥