Shana Marlayna Chow’s second book of poetry, I Tried to Write Love Poems, is a moving tribute to love and strength. This second book is as solid as her first, Love Gone Savage. (See my review here.) The dedication, “to anyone going through the unrelenting pain of a heart break,” epitomizes a vision of heartbreak and love gone wrong.
Chow extends hope to anyone who “went back to him so fragile” or “didn’t know where to turn.” Strength exudes from lines such as “she pre-planned her escape/and never looked back.” There is a sense that the woman in the poems is split in two. She’s on the inside longing to get free. Or, she’s on the outside looking in at her life before and wondering about how she had accepted the berating and manipulation. “He was manipulation at its finest.”
Occasionally, the poems read more like aphorisms from a complacent counselor than poems that swim amid love and pain. For example,
If you try to understand why someone hurt you,
instead of reacting to the hurt,
you will be healed quicker,
than carrying the anger
in your soul.
Heartbreak and Love Gone Wrong
In the end, Chow’s poems focus on how people must find love, happiness and acceptance within themselves. “Control your happiness by finding it within yourself first.” Attentiveness, making peace with the past, fearlessness, confidence—these things lead through the heartbreak to the sunshine.
We all have both tornadoes and sunshine in all of us.
Surround yourself with those that bring out your sunshine.