The Carrying: Poems by Ada Limón
Publisher: Milkweed Editions
Release Date: August 14, 2018
Summary: From National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award finalist Ada Limón comes The Carrying–her most powerful collection yet.
Vulnerable, tender, acute, these are serious poems, brave poems, exploring with honesty the ambiguous moment between the rapture of youth and the grace of acceptance. A daughter tends to aging parents. A woman struggles with infertility–“What if, instead of carrying / a child, I am supposed to carry grief?”–and a body seized by pain and vertigo as well as ecstasy. A nation convulses: “Every song of this country / has an unsung third stanza, something brutal.” And still Limón shows us, as ever, the persistence of hunger, love, and joy, the dizzying fullness of our too-short lives. “Fine then, / I’ll take it,” she writes. “I’ll take it all.”
In Bright Dead Things, Limón showed us a heart “giant with power, heavy with blood”–“the huge beating genius machine / that thinks, no, it knows, / it’s going to come in first.” In her follow-up collection, that heart is on full display–even as The Carrying continues further and deeper into the bloodstream, following the hard-won truth of what it means to live in an imperfect world.
My Rating: ★★★★★
My Thoughts: The Carrying is a collection of poetry that explores nature, life & death, identity, grief, womanhood, love, youth, anxiety, loneliness and all the impactful moments that weave themselves into the everyday! Through lyrical and thought-provoking writing, Limón’s collection deeply allows the reader to examine the moments of the everyday that can leave a mark on our past, present, & future!
Next on the list of books from my Latinx Book Bingo TBR was The Carrying, which was the book I picked for the poetry category!
I finished Limón’s collection in practically one sitting and it easily became one of my favorite poetry collections of all time! Definitely takes the top spot! ❤❤
Limón’s The Carrying is broken up into 3 parts as it mainly explores the passage of youth and reflection during adulthood.
The writing creates such a real and vivid imagery that it paints so much emotion from anxiety, anger, grief and acceptance of a lost one, joy in the everyday, even the moments of loneliness that we undergo in life.
Limón crafts her poems in such a way where the descriptions really take root and forge their own space within your mind. Spaces where you think about the quiet moments in life, reflection, and so much more!
The poems also create such a lifelike and thought-provoking view of nature, in terms of the comparison to the cycle of life and death and even how we are the ones that move with nature.
Nature is one of the main topics explored in this collection and the way Limón paints the realistic + authentic, with the dream-like qualities really allowed the imagery portrayed in many of the poems to carry with me throughout the collection.
This can be seen through the descriptive imagery of the trees, flowers, gardens, oceans, water, and the forests! I found it showed how we can be connected to something much bigger than ourselves.
With each line I found they carried so much weight, depth, and complexity. From the deeply rooted emotion that’s expanded on, the passage of time especially, and overall reflection, are just some of the many faceted elements to this collection that were explored as it progressed.
While I genuinely loved ever poem in this collection with all my heart, one that really stood out to me was: On A Pink Moon, which explored the letting out of anger and reflected on growth through the planting of seeds.
This collection also explores such current issues such as politics, immigration, etc. which were described in such a brutally honest way. Also exploring anxiety and pain in many forms (chronic, loss, etc.) but how our ability to shift our focus and find solace when we find personal connections in the everyday, along with moments of observation and the ephemeral, allows us to view things from a new perspective.
The Carrying, like its title suggests, also explored what we carry with us through life from our memories, gains and losses, love, identity, and so much more that essentially make us who we are. But also what we can reflect on.
While reading this entire collection, I kept a notebook beside me to keep track of all the beautiful and memorable lines that I really loved!
As I was reading it also meant so much that I read from a new Latinx author and it made the reading experience all the more special! 😭💕
I wish I could put all my thoughts about this wonderful collection into words, but the best I can say is, read this collection and experience it for yourself!
The Carrying is a poetry collection that has really left an impact! Through Limón’s vivid and descriptive writing she explores the moments in life that shape us, our identity, and how they can allow us to change our view of the world. Limon’s marvelous collection is one that reflects on the intense and emotional moments in life, while reminding you, there is always something to connect to, that delivers strength!