The collection Letters to Untitled is a beautiful poetic journey, going into each letter of PTSD standing for Pain, Trauma, Shedding, Deconstruction.
Each section is filled with poems and prose that come directly from the poet’s heart. I appreciate and love the honesty in the poems, especially the way the poet manages to weave together scenes of harsh reality against the backdrop of a soft image like a teardrop against an ocean. Just like in the poem mentioning “a walking contradiction” this collection opens up dialogue on what it is to be free of something, and how things aren’t always as black and white as we may think.
The use of repetition in chasing shadows “trying to prove you wrong, trying to prove them wrong…” shows the artistry and skill of the poet along with the use of off-rhymes like in “drama/nirvana” in the runner poem. I love the conversational tone and the way the poet presents harsh reality with soft contrasts. The relatable feelings and I like the way the titles connect to the poems such as in untangle.
My favorite poems are, “when the night ends” and lines such as “a different kind of pain” and “maybe one day I’ll learn to stop giving chapters to paragraphs in my story,” and “I hope my scent leaves a trail in your heart.”
Some of the poems just make me want to clutch my heart as they make my heart expand in a lovely way, soothing and yet exhilarating. I also enjoyed the prose pieces starting from the second section. The trauma experienced and expressed is so heartfelt and really comes through to the reader. The feelings of abandonment and bitterness are at the forefront and yet throughout the collection there is an ebb and flow with what setting yourself free from something means, and sometimes that’s experiencing all the emotions and sometimes that’s letting go of something or someone.
I also love the way the poet can write poems with different perspectives or from different angles such as in “choosing sides” and I admire that ability very much. The poet has such a beautiful grasp on usage of language. I also felt like I was right there in that dark cave with the speaker as I read onto the third section Shedding. I felt that newfound hope picking up through the third section and the poignant lines keep bouncing off each other. Finally the section of Deconstruction leads the reader to a self-realization that what we needed was already there all along, and it’s about experiencing things for ourselves and loving ourselves. I also liked the more explicit touch of religious references towards the end too. I would say my favorite sections are Pain and Shedding.
I commend the writer Tosin P. of this collection and I am looking forward to reading more from this writer. I recommend this poetry collection to readers who want a deep dive into cleanse themselves in poems that breathe new life in the face of pain and trauma.