What I Wish I’d Written: Yrsa Daley-Ward

I appreciate that recycling words by other people is what Tumblr is for (isn’t it? I actually don’t understand Tumblr), but sometimes I find literary pieces that inspire me so much, I just want to share them with you guys. Almost like a poetry club, because I have no friends to do a real life one with, ok? Cool, let’s do it.

At the moment I am somewhat obsessed with poet Yrsa Daley-Ward – although I will admit, I only heard of her work recently.

The child of a Jamaican mother and Nigerian father, Yrsa was raised in Chorley and is the author of the 2014 book Bone – confessional poetry so relatable it’s almost uncomfortable, as she asks herself questions that you’ll find yourself pondering long after book is closed.

“If you were married to yourself, would you stay with yourself?

My house would be frightening and wild.”

Originally self-published via Amazon in 2014, Bone was picked up and published by Penguin this month. The poem I have read over and over today covers the subject of love, demolishing our expectations of it with some realities.

Some of us

As someone who isn’t sure they’ve experienced a healthy relationship (I mean if I had, one would assume I wouldn’t be single right now tbh) this resonates, it makes me sad, it makes me yearn, it makes me smile as I admit to myself that some of the bad love behaviours listed are ones I am guilty of. It makes me angry as I resign myself to the fact that it is rare you will ever be loved in the exact way you think you should be. That’s not realistic. Some of us love badly. Some people will say “yes” to you, and mean anything but.

Today, Daley-Ward resides between LA and London. Speaking to The Guardian about her writing process, she said: “If you’re afraid to write it, that’s a good sign. I suppose you know you’re writing the truth when you’re terrified.”

Follow Yrsa on Twitter and get Bone here.

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