Paired with colorful photos, Rose’s (Inside Sorrow, 2013) slim volume of poetry offers advice and inspirational maxims urging women young and old to love themselves and take their lives into their own hands.
Rose’s empowering poetry challenges readers to confront issues that plague women unable to see their self-worth, concerns such as low self-esteem, fear of speaking one’s mind and overreliance on men. And challenge she does: Rose’s forceful tone contains a sassy edge that will be refreshing to female readers tired of hearing the same old encouragements sweetly whispered to them. In “Outlaw Poetry,” she deals with the feeling of being an outsider in the world, but declares, “Because I am a woman / I tell you this / Everything I say / May be considered regeneration.” Elsewhere, “Action” urges readers to confront uncertainty and make a move, noting, “Still women bend for men. / Instead, dance. / Dance for the universe. / It will respond in kind.” Much of her free-flowing verse can be inspirational in a tough, no-nonsense way, though some of the advice is borderline cliché—not that it makes the general meaning any less true. Yet the book often feels as though it’s adapted from a quirky fashionista’s Tumblr, with snippets of poetic musing matched with flashy photos of women posing with records on their heads or teacups full of blood. The photos frequently seem arbitrary, chosen for their quirky styling as opposed to anything of much substance. Despite being paired with words letting readers know they’re all beautiful in their own way, many of the photos resemble glamour shots, which might not comfort a girl feeling bad about her appearance. However, in between these odd choices, many heartening, imaginative moments shine through.
Somewhat cookie-cutter philosophy that may yet be helpful to young women in need of guidance.