I’m not going to beat around the bush. I’m not a big poetry reader. The last encounter I had with any form of poem was in school, when my friend used to write sappy love poems about girls. So yeah, I’m definitely more of a prose gal. But unbeknownst to me, there is an entire poetry scene out there, which thanks to Instagram is gaining a hell of a momentum. So my review of Maybe by Elise Michael is going to be from the perspective of a non-poetry reader, which could be interesting.
Who is Elise Michael?
Elise Michael is a British poet whose specialty is love poems. She’s still an up-and-comer on the poetry scene but has already built a substantial Instagram following and released her debut book- Maybe.
Maybe in a nutshell is a collection of (mostly) love poems. They run along the themes of love, heartbreak, plus a bit of general life and imagination.
As I said before, I’m not a big poetry reader, so reading a book like this was new to me. However, I did like the poignant, reflective tone of the poems. The length of the poems varies- some are around a page long, others are more haiku-length. But the one thing they have in common is a contemplative, sometimes slightly haunting vibe. Sometimes I’d read a poem and think to myself, “wow, that is DEEP”. There’s one particular poem that really stood out to me- it’s called “You Broke Your Own Heart”. It’s about how we get our hopes up about people and build up an ideal of them- then get hurt when the reality doesn’t pan out how we had envisioned. Basically, the story of my life.
As the book is a collection of poems I’m not sure reading the book start to finish (as I did) is the best way to go about it. I think the shorter poems work really well for Instagram, and it’s easy to see how Elise has built up a strong following on the platform. However, the book is probably better to have as something to dip in and out of as the mood takes you.
Overall, despite my lack of poetry fandom, I did enjoy Maybe. I think it would be a great book to have on sale in one of those shops like Oliver Bonas where they have an eclectic selection of books like The Lifechanging Magic of Not Giving a Fuck (any Oliver Bonas buyers reading this, TAKE NOTE). It’s also a great book for poetry lovers, those looking to read something a bit different, or those looking for a gift for a hopeless romantic friend.