Ada Limón’s poetry is storytelling by stanzas. This book is broken up into the four seasons, which helps orient the reader. Limón’s poetry is accessible, readable and likeable. This book reflects the height of the pandemic, by this I mean the public engagement with COVID-19 and its related isolation and loss, grief. Many poems feature family and friends, giving insight to her life and day-to-day. Many of the poems read like short stories. For folks out there who find interpreting modern poetry to be a challenge, I think this book may be the ticket for them — while there is plenty of nuance and layers of meaning, the poems themselves are easy to remember and understand.
“Blowing on the Wheel” is a favorite: https://astra-mag.com/articles/blowing-on-the-wheel/
“The Hurting Kind” kept me: https://therumpus.net/2021/05/06/rumpus-original-poetry-the-hurting-kind-by-ada-limon
“Forgiveness” felt like a day in the life of the author: https://www.guernicamag.com/forgiveness-2/
“Heart on Fire” is such a story (this version from her Instagram is different than the published one in The Hurting Kind): https://www.instagram.com/p/CJG_iNtFjF5/?igshid=dogqnx3cabkk
Limón admits to being a weeper in one of these poems, and I myself cry all the time, and this poem “The Unspoken” got me: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2022/01/ada-limon-the-unspoken/620848/
This brief selection should give you some idea of what she’s all about. I highly recommend getting this book in your hands and finding your own selections and sharing them here 🙂
2 comments on “The Hurting Kind by Ada Limón”
Thanks for the introduction to Ada Limon. I especially appreciated all the samples of her poetry. Her work is very relatable.
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You’re so welcome — enjoy! This is the first poem by her that I was introduced to by my friend Gael in Sonoma: https://poets.org/poem/instructions-not-giving