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With Me

by Alyssa Scheidemann

Pub Date: June 16th, 2011
ISBN: 978-1456462727
Publisher: CreateSpace

A young woman’s poems about nature, relationships and growing up.

The milestones and emotional tumult of early adulthood are well-traversed territory in poetry and literature. The work of classic heavyweights like Emily Dickinson and contemporary writers like Bret Easton Ellis touches on this trying time of life; additional examples of coming of age on the page are only as far away as the nearest creative writing course. Like multitudes before her, Scheidemann records her thoughts on love, nature and revelations about adulthood. Unlike many others, however, she infuses these musings with a streak of poetry devoted to cocoa-based food items, such as “Chocolate,” in which she writes, “Sweet, sweet chocolate—so sweet / You won’t ever fail to leave me / Such a lovely treat / Which always makes me full of glee.” “Brownie,” meanwhile, describes the eponymous delectible as “Brown colored / Really delicious / Often a favorite dessert.” Moving on to more weighty topics with “Shyness,” Scheidemann tackles adolescent awkwardness: “My shyness at first / Prevents me from things I want to do / Makes me feel cursed / And blue.” Her poetry varies widely in theme yet is simplistic in scope. She places primary focus on rhyming stanzas—a poetic style that lends itself better to children’s poetry rather than the young-adult audience she appears to address with poems about graduation and romantic heartache. While the poet’s enthusiasm is clearly evident, this collection reads more like a portfolio ripe for workshopping or the culmination of notebook musings and penned daydreams. As an aspiring author, Scheidemann would benefit from delving deeper into her subject matter, forgoing strict adherence to rhyming structure and further refining her writing skills.  

Heavy emphasis on rhyming and simplistic subject matter will leave readers unsatisfied.