Light Filters In: Poems by Caroline Kaufman || Book Review

“It’s okay if some things
are always out of reach.
If you could carry all the stars
in the palm of your hand,
they wouldn’t be
half as breathtaking”

Synopsis: In Light Filters In, Caroline Kaufman—known as @poeticpoison—does what she does best: reflects our own experiences back at us and makes us feel less alone, one exquisite and insightful piece at a time. She writes about giving up too much of yourself to someone else, not fitting in, endlessly Googling “how to be happy,” and ultimately figuring out who you are.

This hardcover collection features completely new material plus some fan favorites from Caroline’s account. Filled with haunting, spare pieces of original art, Light Filters In will thrill existing fans and newcomers alike.

Source: Goodreads

Title: Light Filters In: Poems
Author: Caroline Kaufman
Illustrator: Yelena Bryksenkova
Links: Chapters Indigo | Goodreads

Genre / Themes: Contemporary | Mental Health | Poetry
Point of View: First Person

Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: May 22, 2018
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 224

If I had known I was going to fall in-love with Kaufman’s writing so much, I wouldn’t have waited as long to pick up this collection of poetry. Kaufman’s Light Filters In: Poems is a breathtakingly real look into how we love, hate, cope, grieve, find courage, seek help, and ultimately … how we discover our true selves without the influence and weight of everyone else’s opinions.

There are people ALL over the world who have reached out to Kaufman, telling her that her poetry and saved their lives … now if that’s not a positive messages, I don’t know what is. Though emotionally daunting, this beautiful collection’s an absolutely fantastic read — one I URGE you to try for yourself.

Note on reviewing poetry: Poetry is rather subjective. This review will attempt to examine the layout and structure of the poems and novel itself, rather than necessarily critique the works within it.

Pro 1. The content in the collection flows strategically from one theme to the next. Honestly, I’m a sucker for a collection that flows from theme to theme … the gradual change as the collection progresses makes the entirety feel more like a story rather than simply a novel full of poetry. Kaufman begins the novel with a more dark and haunting vibe, making it a tad difficult to read emotionally. But as the novel progresses, the poems slowly show more light and hopefulness. By the end of the read, Kaufman leaves readers feeling enlightened and inspired — demonstrating that no matter what demons someone may have faced in their lives, they’ve still conquered them all.

Pro 2. Light Filters In: Poetry has a wealth of minimal and aesthetically pleasing illustrations! Rather than just having a number of blank pages full of words, Kaufman utilizes illustrations to further emphasize her thoughts and feelings she’s expressing in her poetry. Illustrator Yelena Bryksenkova’s stunning, minimalist artwork style captures the essence of Kaufman’s work, without overpowering and taking over the pages.

Pro 3. Kaufman’s poetry highlights upon a number of heavy topics, opening the floor to discussion and healing. Society today’s still so adamant on burying all the “taboo” topics, the things that people feel are too dark and too triggering for society to know about — even with psychologists stating how important it is to be aware of these when it comes to mental health. But Kaufman’s voice will not be silenced, using her unfiltered and raw poetry to explore real horrors that people face: sexual assault, self-harm, suicidal thoughts, loneliness, depression, anxiety. Through talking about her own mental health, Kaufman shows readers that you’re not alone — if anything, you’re so far from it. Opening up room for discussion illustrates the importance of therapy and self-help — that the more we TALK, the more we HEAL. It’s not that this is a collection of terrifying things … it’s a collection of how to overcome and overpower these “feelings” and “triggering moments” … that YOU are in control, and you deserve a life of happiness and love.

Woe 1. There were a number of times when it was difficult to tell when one poem ended and another began. Maybe I was simply tired, but I found it difficult to tell when a few of the poems ended … causing confusion when the next poem didn’t flow quite right (that was usually my indicator that a new poem had begun). However, there were VERY few instances when this happened.

Light Filters In: Poems is an absolutely gorgeous collection, full of authentic and intense emotions. Reading her work felt like a glimpse into my own soul, showing me that I can conquer all of the things that make me scared or afraid. Kaufman doesn’t sugarcoat heavy topics, but shows readers that these horrors and events that happened to you don’t define you. Honestly, it’s a beautiful collection that I’d recommend to so many different people.

Note: If you EVER feel like you’re completely alone and want someone to talk to, PLEASE contact me. Do not hesitate for a second or worry that I’ll be annoyed … because I won’t be. I’m not just saying this to say it — I’m here for anyone who needs help and support. Though I’m no health professional, I want you all to know that I’m here as a listener and supporter in anyway possible.

I recommend this novel if you enjoy:

↠ Books on mental health and healing
↠ Free verse poetry
↠ Books with illustrations
↠ Poetry with substance and a focus on personal growth

Have you read Caroline Kaufman’s Light Filters In: Poems?

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Author of Bookmark Your Thoughts, both the Tumblr and WordPress book review blogs. I'm a tea drinking, book loving librarian who just loves literature.

8 thoughts on “Light Filters In: Poems by Caroline Kaufman || Book Review

  1. I would love to try to get into poetry this year and this sounds like one with a lot of great themes! Thanks for bringing it to my attention & lovely review as always ❤😁 (ps I do think you left a bit of a different review in in the “overall” part)

    Liked by 1 person

      1. No problem! I’m sorry about the family emergency, I hope everything is okay now ❤


  2. Every year I tell myself that I will brach out more, dive into poetry, memorize wonderful poems… and then I get too scared of it, and never actually do it.
    Once my exams are over, I will definitely come to you for some poetry recommendations! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Lover Book Tag

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