Without the Cliff by Caitlin Coey — A Review

Childhood traumas, reflections, and poetry for a brighter world.

Without the Cliff by Caitlin Coey — A Review

Poetry bridges places where reality and the mind refuse to meet. There is so much power in the space between the words, so much potential in a line left hanging, or a word chosen for the way it implies without meaning what it says.

When I read poetry, I like to give myself time to be immersed in it. I like to sit, alone, and sink down like I used to do in pools during lifeguard training, sinking down to hold my breath and listen to a heartbeat — only, with poetry, the heartbeat is someone else’s; another human being’s heartbeat translated through ink on a page.

All at once and immersive: that is how I normally read chapbooks of poetry.

But, this time, I broke my rule, and I read the first poem as soon as the book arrived: and was captivated for a day by the presence in even those few lines.

Caitlin Coey has crafted a collection of poetry that investigates the heart of childhood trauma, among many other experiences of living. She sifts the complex pains of life, reflects on the many other types of fracture that build a human being. Without the Cliff seeds poignancy into past reflections, but at all times pulses with a sense of presence, a heartbeat of momentum as she touches on death, and loss… but also hope, and love like sunshine, and the stories of strong women from history and fiction who persevered and rose, from suffering, to live again.

Your wounds need not be identical to find communion in this collection, to tap the author’s reserve of strength. Anyone who has lived through darkness, who carries with them the confusion and tension of a wounded childhood will find kinship in these pages. As we find ourselves walking a dark path into an uncertain future, art like this offers a lantern to guide our way, and help us grow new lives from the hauntings of the past.

Head on over to Finishing Line Press for your own copy, today.

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Hi there! I’m Odin Halvorson, a librarian, independent scholar, film fanatic, fiction author, and tech enthusiast. If you like my work and want to support me, please consider subscribing!

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