Being an English Literature graduate, I have read my fair share of poetry in an academic environment. However, I can freely admit that I rarely read poetry for pleasure. Poetry can be intimidating material, with hidden (and sometimes obscure) depth and meaning. It can be challenging and hard work. Somebody Give This Heart a Pen is a collection by Sophia Thakur that is none of these things – and it’s brilliant.
Sophia is a spoken word poet and this book is her first published collection. In it, she explores her take on the process of the emotional heart – grow, wait, break, grow again. She has crafted beautiful phrases and verbalised her feelings with a raw urgency that really appealed to me.
I scribbled all over this book, underlining the lines and phrases that resonated with me – a habit from as far back as studying for my GCSEs. Foreverlove? Whipped on You and Let Hurt were among my favourites, but Risky Nostalgia was the absolute standout poem in the collection for me. It spoke to me on such a personal level, looking back on past relationships with rose-tinted glasses. I didn’t underline anything because the whole poem held my thoughts and my heart. How did she creep inside my brain like that? Jokingly, I asked Sophia on Twitter, and she replied, ‘Thank you for letting me in…I wish Risky Nostalgia wasn’t so many of us.’ It’s becoming clear that many others feel the same as me about this poem.
I would recommend reading spoken word poets if you are looking for an accessible route into reading more poetry. Not only is this a fantastic collection, I am also a big fan of Yrsa Daley-Ward. You can get a feel for her work on her Instagram page.