Night Sky With Exit Wounds By Ocean Vuong | A Book Review

Title: Night Sky With Exit Wounds

Author: Ocean Vuong

Genre: Poetry

About the book: It’s an anthology of poems. I received a copy from the lovely folks at Publishers Group Canada.

First impressions: I read more prose than I do poetry, so I was excited to expand my horizons. To begin with, I love the title. I think it captures the essence of the collection. I especially enjoyed the poems at the beginning.

Quote:

“Everyone can forget us—as long as you remember.”

Writing: The writing is elegant but accessible. If you love enjambment, you’re in luck. There’s plenty of imagery as well. Vuong plays with a variety of forms and styles.

I wish the anthology was longer because it’s quite short. That said, reading this collection has inspired me to experiment more with my own poetry. Vuong addresses real, serious issues in an honest way. He writes about family, love, war, etc. The subject matter for some pieces are a bit more mature though.

Final thoughts: I highly recommend Night Sky With Exit Wounds even if you don’t read much poetry.


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Not In Darkness | A Poem

Don’t let them

Take away the light

You’re not in darkness

Believe

Got far

Trust

Can run

You’re all you’ve got

So set yourself apart

Show them your fire

Burn into the night forever

Remember looking up at the sky

And seeing stars so bright

You had to shield your eyes

Until You Die | A Poem

Lonely or alone

Connected and close

Disconnected

Distanced from

What you know

Is reality

An illusion

Get you to

Look away from

What’s going on

Should’ve known

The signs were there

Did you read them

Listen to anyone

Wanted your dreams

To come true

Held out hope

But it broke you

Never made a move

Will you wait

Until you die

To make up

Your mind

Share Your Soul | A Poem

Speak the truth

Even if you struggle to

Let it all out

Put words on the page

Sometimes no one’s around

To hear you speak

But there’s something

You need to say

Your eyes can’t lie

It’s killing you inside

Stayed silent all this time

And waited by the sidelines

So share your soul

With someone close

Never Fail To Get Up | A Poem

Don’t feel bad

for not knowing

You don’t have to do it all

just take a step

right then left

Struggle behind closed doors

so you can succeed

in front of everyone

those you don’t want to let down

The best fall

but they never fail to get up

brush off the dirt

keep going

never look back

Who Says? | A Poem

Who says you need

A superhero to save the day

A knight to sweep you off your feet

A prince to make you a princess

A shoulder to cry on

A hand to hold close

A heart to love yours

A song to call ours

A dance to remember

A house to call home

A dream to share

A life to grow old

Who says you need?

You have what it takes

To make yourself happy

My Worst Enemy | A Poem

I used to lie awake at night

Wonder why I couldn’t sleep

I was my worst enemy

Hurt myself more

Than anyone else

Just wanted to belong

Struggled in silence

Grew strong enough

To stand tall

And finally believe

I can still recall

But those days are gone

Own Landing | A Poem

Typical

Just average

Not special

But it’s possible

To be a shooting star

Fly across the sky

When it’s dark at night

Soar above the clouds

Land on the moon

Call my own landing

On rooftop buildings

See the city

From high ground

Because every storm ends

The sun comes out again

On My Own | A Poem

A chance

One shot

That’s all

I want

Won’t screw up

Worked years

To get here

Will do

What needs

To be done

So much better

On my own

Rather than

Relying on anyone

Before You | A Poem

How much

have you

given up

don’t you know

there’s still more

to be done

just started

be tired

at the end

not the beginning

build on

hard work

make sacrifices

get up

start doing

after all

millions have

before you.