By now you must know that I am a sucker for poetry books, especially the ones that tell a story more than they rhyme. I've followed #Instapoetry since the day the hashtag started on Instagram, and ever since, I've slowly gravitated to the beauty of shorter poems because despite their length, they capture the essence of life, emotion, or anything they try to convey. This month, I received Laura Foley's WTF, a collection of poems reminiscing her father's experiences as a prisoner during WWII. The book is actually named after her father's initials. I bet you thought it meant something else.
WTF starts from the start, and I mean from the start. Foley narrates her earliest experiences with her father; some good ones, some bad ones, and some horrible ones. What made me adore this book was that the war was not glamourized or fetishized, like many authors have done in the past. As important of an event as it is, it means that, in my opinion, only a select group of people may write about it, and that is the ones who know about it or have experienced it.
Foley's poems do not only talk about the war, even though she has the resources to do it, and write a fantastic book about it. They talk about how the war shaped her dad, consequently how her relationship with her dad shaped her. Through a series of connected poems, Foley tells the story of her unique life, hinting back to events and people who have shaped her along the way.
I've definitely fallen in love with her writing style, seemingly because I am obsessed with Rupi Kaur and the trend of shorter poems that tell stories, yet Foley's longer poems followed by shorter ones read the way they should have been told. Taking breaths in between the poems, I devoured the book and forgot that it was even a series of poems -- it felt so much like a narrative, it was stunning. Had it had drawings, I probably would have cried even more.
Read previous PoeticBookTours reviews here.