Publication Date: January 22nd 2017
‘‘Flowers I Never Picked Up’ is a book about a journey of mental health and the places it can take you. The path you take in life is rarely ever as straight and smooth as you hope it would be, and as you stumble over the bumps in the road, you don’t stop to think about the bruises. These marks may fade over time, but the memory comes back, in this book, poetry is used to try and understand emotions felt in the past: to weave history into a story. Use this book to re-tell your own story, use it as healing, use it as an opportunity to let go. The past exists, but it doesn’t have to haunt.
The past exists but you don’t have to remember it alone. While reading this book, you’ll learn that although you may have felt like it, you were never alone. As a teenager, mental health is often written off as just being moody, and this collision of metaphors and similes, is an opportunity to look at emotions you didn’t want to face, or never knew how to express – a chance for you and for me.’ – Goodreads
A copy of this poetry collection was gifted to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Admittedly, I’m not a huge poetry reader, but Flowers I Never Picked Up is a charming exception. Daka’s self-released collection is an enchanting read – relatable yet managing to be poignant at the same time. It is self-described as a ‘whirlwind of thoughts’ and examines themes of teenage mental health in the best way possible.
The strength of this book is definitely Daka’s prose. Their writing flows from the page in a melodic fashion, and they have a way of turning the simplest words into the most beautiful phrases. Here are a few of my favourite verses to give you an idea:
everyone you bump into sees your warmth and falls into it,Monday Morning
drawn to the heat and to the light.
the brightness in the small smile you manage to give to anyone who
people like me eat breakfastThe Breakfast Special
as a celebration for waking up
repressed memoriesHome Haikus
fail to rest in the roots of
your hair – dirty now
go to sleep convincing yourselfSuppression
that when you wake
there will no longer be sadness
hooked into your chest
The poems also flow nicely with each other – the ‘District’ Collection is a wonderful look at the reality of London life. Furthermore, the poems also work together as individual pieces. The overall feel of the book is very well put together and it is evident that Daka has put a lot of thought into this collection.
Although this collection of poetry appears as though it might be light-hearted and delicate, this is actually an incredible examination of mental health. I felt incredibly blessed to be able to gain an insight into this part of Daka’s life – I know that as a Poet, they will go far.
You can follow Victoria Daka on Twitter and Instagram at @vmedleen !