Happy Wednesday everyone!
Hope all the mommies out there had a very wonderful Mother’s day.
This week I will be doing another book review. YAY my favorite !! My personal reading challenge is to read 40 books this year. This book is number 16. I’m not doing that bad but I need to step it up! Lol
Butterfly by Melaysia Sekai is actually a special book for me. I’ve known Melaysia a long time. We met through our parents. My mom worked with Melaysia’s mom. My dad also knows Melaysia’s family… well everyone in Oakland knows my dad. lol
I was the biggest book worm in high school so Melaysia’s mom would occasionally let me borrow books from her collection. So when Melaysia initially told me she was interested in writing a book I thought that was amazing!
In 2016, Melaysia asked me about the publisher that printed my boyfriend, Aaron’s poetry. Aaron and I was able to connect her with the publisher and from there she was determined to make this book happen. Every blue moon, Melaysia would ask my opinion or update me on the progress of her book. I was SO proud when she announced her book release at the beginning of 2017!
Melaysia sent me and Aaron signed copies to show her appreciation for the roles we played in helping her publish her first book.
Now that you all have the inside scoop on my friendship with the author, let’s discuss the book.
34 poems and 65 pages long.
This book is a short read but do not underestimate it’s impact. In less than 100 pages this book definitely had me in my feelings.
If you follow my blog and have read my past posts you are aware that I write poetry as well. As Melaysia states in the dedication section at the end of the book “every poet is unique.” My favorite line in this book was:
“I write for me
but I share it for you to define it
What it means to you
Not what you thought it meant for me” p.61
Anyone reading this book should definitely explore their own understanding and meaning of every poem. Writing is a form of art and poetry is open for interpretation. The cool thing is Melaysia started a blog to interact with her readers and answer any questions about the book. Butterfly Book Blog
The poetry in this book is filled with metaphors, riddles, rhymes, thought provoking questions, and euphemisms. Some of the poems made me feel like I was listening to a Jhene Aiko song.
One word I would use to describe this book is: relatable.
I couldn’t stop thinking, wow have we all been through the same heartbreak?
Do we all write out our pain?
Do we find bad coping mechanisms?
Butterfly made me think of old heartbreaks and my own journey to overcome past hurts. These poems made me revisit a dark place of mind I once lived. After I was done reading I reevaluated my growth and where I am now.
Of course, heartbreak comes with self doubt and it’s plenty of that in these poems. Self reflection is a big part of healing.
“...I went hungry just to make sure you was good You didn’t know that though You were too busy being mischievous But I loved you and felt like it was my job, my responsibility, my obligation to make sure you were good I made sure you were good even if I wasn’t Ain’t that some shit? There were times you’d call me and no matter how my day went I let you talk I let you vent Because at the end of the day your happiness meant more than mine From miles and miles away you were my happiness...” An excerpt from 'She spoke' (p.31-33).
‘She spoke’ is my favorite poem in Butterfly. This poem is so raw and real. I felt the rage in her words. I know for a fact, I have a few very similar letters and poems I’ve wrote in my notebook. This poem represents a pivotal moment when us as women get fed up with it all. Tired of giving so much of ourselves to someone so undeserving and unappreciative. Fed up but for some strange reason we still care even if it’s clear he doesn’t. Such a deep poem full of emotion. This poem gives me Beyonce vibes, she embodies this same rage in songs like ‘Don’t Hurt Yourself’, ‘I Care’, ‘I Miss You’, and ‘Resentment’.
Butterfly is a great first book but this is just the beginning. I cannot wait to read more from Melaysia Sekai in the future. I really admire the strength and courage it took for her to open up and share her world with us. I have spoke about my own fears when it came to the vulnerability in sharing my writing. As an artist, displaying your work can be one of the hardest things. So much passion, pain, emotion, energy, and hard work placed into this piece of artwork. To share writing from hard times isn’t always easy but it is inspiring. Inspiration for those going through a similar situation to know they aren’t alone. Part of healing, growing and conquering is helping others along the way. Leaving a mark, a stamp, and a path to help others follow in our footsteps.
I am uber excited about women opening up and fearlessly telling their truth. Women everywhere are chasing their dreams and it is beautiful movement to be apart of. This book is symbolic of Melaysia Sekai simply turning her pain into passion. Sharing parts of her story. Allowing her words from times of despair to provoke the emotions of her readers. I for one am not only proud but inspired.
Thank you for reading guys & we’ll talk more next week!