We Were Young

I have really been on a modern poetry kick lately and am constantly searching for someone new to read. A little while ago I saw an interview of Fortesa Latifi at Femrat Magazine so I decided to purchase her newest collection of poetry on Amazon.

Called We Were Young the collection is very much a reflection of the internal and external struggles young women face while growing and developing in a culture that is continuously stealing the space necessary for them to evolve. This suffocation is manifested through Latifi’s courageous wielding of words.

The collection is divided into three sections: the coming apart, the reckoning, and the glistening. However, I find that the collection could make due without the dividers because there is an overall continuum throughout the whole thing that did not need to be dissected. I would have hoped that the whole book could have been the first section alone and that she would have produced two more sections – thereby tripling  the quantity of the work.

Bear in mind, however, that this opinion arises from someone who consumes masses and masses amounts of text. Thus, a light read is often found unsatisfying. This biased opinion is easily changed when the audience also changes and I still immensely recommend reading We Were Young.  I repetitively found myself identifying with lines and poems – evoking emotions so often kept silent.

Here are some of my favorite lines from her poetry to give you an idea of what to expect:

“yesterday, I taught my niece how to say
I love you and she laughed and laughed.
I wonder who taught me.”
from the third rejection letter

“is that a new freckle or just the imprint of their fingers?”
from everyone is terrified

“…we only have to go to the second floor
but we take the elevator anyway and remind ourselves
to stand up straight – after all, there’s a camera in the corner.”
from lexington avenue

“we want to be ruined.
there is something that
appeals to us about being
the main character in a story
this awful.”
from wreckage


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