Preparing for Joy

Reading “Neon Soul” by Alexandra Elle.

At the time of this post, I have not completed the reading of this book. I am working through it at a too-leisurely pace, but do enjoy it every time I crack the cover.

As something of a poet myself, I recently decided to take a more active stance in reading the poetry of others. However, being a cheapskate (the apple did not fall far from the tree), I was loathe to spend the required amount of money for a new book, and also did not want to be rushed through reading a book borrowed from the library. I happened upon this book at a thrift store. It caught my eye because it looked like it had never been opened. This typically does not indicate a good book, but its impeccable binding was different and intriguing nonetheless, and caused me to pick up the paperback. I read a few poems at random, liked what I read, and decided that the book was worth the gamble of one or two dollars. (I also found that the author had signed the book: bonus!)

When I began reading the book properly, the last sentence of the introduction grabbed me sharply, and I knew I had found a diamond in the rough: “…Preparing for joy is just as important as healing from hurt.” I read the sentence over and over, mulling over how beautiful, hopeful, and true it felt to me.

Many of the poems are (as I interpret them) written to a younger or past version of the author herself. There is much dark feeling in her words, but the tone is that of one who writes from a better place. This keeps the book from feeling too heavy, while also being raw and real about some unpleasant (but unavoidable) aspects of the human experience. While many of the poems are heavily emotional, she also sprinkles in poems that are reminiscent of good days, and lets us hearken to some of her fond childhood memories. While I cannot identify with her specific recollections, the poems were able to elicit a feeling in me of calm contentment just the same.

This is where I should succinctly conclude my post on what I have read thus far, but I’ve never been skilled at ending things.

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