For fans of Rupi Kaur and R. H. Sin, who are intrigued to explore the world of contemporary poetry a bit deeper, Courtney Peppernell’s Pillow Thoughts is a poetry book that will surely satisfy your search. This book contains a collection of poetry and prose that are broken into 10 sections that emphasise on love, heartbreak and identity. Peppernell uses her poems to recognise the different emotional phases that accompany a romantic relationship. She writes about all the things you need to hear if you are heartbroken, or if you are dreaming of someone, or if you are just soul-searching.
The section of the book that I could relate to the most is: “If you need encouragement”, where she emphasises on self-worth and self-esteem (something we all have struggled with at one point or another). Even for her other sections, the writing style she used is very simple yet elegant. One does not need much analysis to understand the message. And if you are going through any emotional turmoil, these poems will hit your heart like a bull’s eye. I could see myself in several of her poems. Here are a few passages that I really connected with:
“There are days where triggers are around every corner, lurking in shadows where darkness spills heavy breaths and tight chests. Anxiety is a devastating thing. No matter how many times you are told to “breathe,” it feels as though the air has all but thinned, and despite every logical reason to remain calm, you feel like a ship without its sails in the middle of a raging storm.”
“I am sure they will make the road to recovery seem clean. They’ll use words to make healing seem pretty and pretend the bandages don’t feel heavy and still cause pain. Your sadness is never going to be near and tidy, and on some days you might even wonder how you’re going to pick up every shattered piece on the floor when burying your soul seems much easier. There will be moments where you have to convince yourself that feeling is better than being numb and that your aching bones are strong enough to carry on. There will be times things feel upside down and you are spinning on an axis that is never balanced. There will be days where you take steps backward and those new steps forward feel very far away. But even in the difficulty you are still taking steps, you are still making progress. And for every bump along the way, just remember you have come this far; might as well keep going.”
In a nutshell, this book is an enjoyable, quick read, which can also be revisited and felt anew with different stages in life. It is definitely recommended to all the contemporary poetry fans out there.
The writer is a part of the TDA Editorial Team.