Recently I was gifted with an advance copy of the poetry anthology SMITTEN. I was intrigued upon hearing that all of the poems had one theme: the exploration of love between women. As I’m a long-time poetry supporter writer, as well as a cheerleader of #WomenSupportingWomen, this book seemed right up my reading alley. So I read it, and here are my thoughts.
First impressions of SMITTEN
The foreward of this anthology is a great introduction to what is to follow in its pages. I was astounded to learn that there were over 120 contributors!
All of which are women, by the way. In addition, the age range of contributors in this poetic collection spans from ages 14-87, so there are a wide range of perspectives.
And there are also many different styles of poetry, from rhyming to free form. While some pieces are short, others are several verses. There’s even some artwork in the pages.
By this point you’re seeing what I have, that poetry is not restricted by age or style. That’s a wonderful thing about this art form! I like that SMITTEN is open to all that is poetry; while the poems differ, they are all linked by the central theme of the book.
How SMITTEN explores the love between women
I adore how SMITTEN celebrates the love between two women, from the foreward up until the end of the collection. Rather than being one of countless books today that portray male and female affection, this book focuses on bisexual and lesbian relationships.
And there isn’t that erotica feel that might have crossed your mind. I think that’s where some authors go to when it’s women only but that’s not SMITTEN.
Instead, there are poems about romance, dating, living together, unrequited love, and more. In other words, every topic that you’d expect for any relationship, no matter the gender. While that sounds common sense, you’d be surprised how many reads there are on female love that focus on sex. That’s not what SMITTEN is about.
Don’t get me wrong, there are a few poems that envoke passion. But they aren’t disrespectful or only about the nudity.
Love has many different forms
The unfortunately reality is that not everyone will read SMITTEN. The terms lesbian and bisexual still make some people uncomfortable. And that’s sad as love that comes from the heart isn’t bound by gender… or race… or ethnicity… or…
You get my point. For example, I’m marrying a man (countdown is on to the big day!) who is Filipino. But his race is incidental as it is his heart that I fell in love with. And I have been at the receiving end of individuals who suggest that bi-racial love is not “right.”
And it is a sadness that I have felt that they don’t see it is our hearts and our genuine affection for one another that matters most. Not our skin colour.
And women in relationships shouldn’t have to be told that their love is forbidden or they ought to date men instead – It’s their hearts too that matter most. Love doesn’t have just one “look” to it and I thank SMITTEN for reminding readers of that.
Love transcends race and gender.