Swimming Lessons by Lili Reinhart
Swimming Lessons, Reinhart’s first poetry collection, explores themes of heartache, depression, and belonging. Reinhart opens with an introduction explaining her inspiration to give words to feelings, in the hopes that people with similar feelings may feel less alone. Reinhart’s free verse style is unassuming. The poems are short and simple yet expressed complex emotions that are difficult to describe. The collection was quite literal and didn’t depend heavily on metaphor or imagery, making them accessible to those who may not enjoy classical styles of poetry. I was able to listen to the audio version, narrated by the author, and there was a sense of deep intimacy in the work as Reinhart smoothly transitioned from one poem to the next.The poems read as stream of consciousness journal entries, so fans of Rupi Kaur would enjoy this collection.
The poems reflect privileges that the author enjoys, thus topics regarding race and class are not present. I would recommend this collection to adult and teen readers that can handle descriptions of depression and anxiety, and are unbothered by less structured forms of poetry.
Special thanks to our friends at Libro.fm, who provided a copy of Swimming Lessons for me to listen to.
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