The Hurting Kind: Poems by Ada Limón

“How funny that I called it love and the whole time it was pain.”

The Hurting Kind is a dazzling collection. Ada Limón’s poems are luminous, and I was struck more than once by her ability to espouse a graceful language with such vivid imagery. Limón has proved that I am not only able to appreciate poetry but be swept away by it. Many of these poems are particularly attuned to nature: from the local fauna to the changing seasons. Limón’s sensitivity to her environments results in some really striking imagery, and more than once I felt transported to the places she described. While I found myself lulled by Limón’s lyrical language and the landscapes she was presenting us with, I was also touched by the feelings, thoughts, and experiences that are interpolated in many of her poems. There are poems where Limón includes snippets of family history and snapshots of a more personal nature, as well as reflections on connection, grief, and her heritage. Although I was struck by Limón’s language, she practices an admirable restraint over it, making those instances where she uses metaphors or ventures into the abstract, all the more wondrous. I read this collection in a particularly bad couple of days and I was uplifted and deeply affected by it. Perceptive and melodic Limón’s poems are a wonder and I look forward to revisiting them.

My rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ stars

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