“You can be a mother and a poet. A wife and a lover. You can dance on the graves you dug on Tuesday, pulling out the bones of yourself you began to miss.”
Once in a while, a book shows up on your doorstep & for millions of reasons that add up to you choosing to read it as soon as you rip off the wrapping-you sit down and begin reading. I sat down this afternoon and began reading What Kind of Woman and couldn’t put it down. As a Woman, A Wife, A Mother- I felt so seen, so understood and received that overwhelming but refreshing confirmation that I’m not at this journey alone.
I am a lover of poetry. To my soul, it is one of my favorite things to read, but I get it.. a lot of what comes out nowadays can be so difficult to understand and can feel unreadable. Kate sticks to the basics. She magically takes ordinary words, throws them all together to create these beautiful sentences that in the end paint a beautiful real life scenario that you completely see or have seen yourself in before. We need more f*cking honesty about how tough Motherhood can be. How tough Womanhood can be. How tough married life can be. It isn’t all fairy tales and happy endings: “When I took you as a husband I did not know the deaths our love would suffer. I did not know the grave of loneliness.” Kate writes this in Curveball and ends the passage with, “even in our darkest hours, I still wait for the sound of your feet at the door.” Curveball is followed by the poem For the Advice Cards at Bridal Showers which at its core is all about time revealing loves complications but shines the light on something I think we as women tend to do; holding out hope and staying positive, “For now just remember how you felt the day you were born: desperate for magic, ready to love.”
Her poems on Motherhood, oh my goodness, “Experience will teach you two things: you are the mother, and it’s okay to let them go up the slide.” The everyday activities that also resort in a lot of anxiety, like park visits, “I am aware of dogs at the park. I am aware of men too.” “Maybe he is just a man walking or maybe he is searching for a bird to break.“
I think every woman should at some point read her poem, Robyn Hood which is all about us thinking about what we could do, could’ve done if we were able to steal all of the time back that we spent comparing ourselves to someone else and the power of assurance. I am going to reread Things My Girlfriends Teach Me everyday and meditate on this passage from To Take Back A Life, “Pick up your heavy burdens and leave them at the gate. I will hold the door for you.”
This is an absolute amazing collection. I hope that it finds you at the right time.