We Carry the Sky – Mckayla Robbin


Published December 5th 2016 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Author: mckayla robbin
Genre: Poetry/Short-form poetry
Pages: 158
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Opening Line:

“the women in
my family
in our bones
the sky”

Goodreads synopsis:

“all women carry
the sky
inside of them
didn’t your mother
tell you that”

In her first collection of poetry, McKayla Robbin grows language “like wildflowers / from the wounds / that for years / would not close up.” Simultaneously vulnerable and fierce, her short-form poems engage themes of femininity, identity, violence, and healing.

My Goodreads review:

we carry the skywe carry the sky by McKayla Robbin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My heart is still racing from reading this book. It is powerful, inspiring, and well written from beginning to end. Short-form poetry is fast becoming my favourite kind of poetry. I will return again and again to these poems, particularly those in part 3 and 4. Even if you don’t read poetry, the words in this book can be appreciated by many, so I highly recommend reading it.

View all my reviews

This is the second book of short-form poems I have read, and ‘we carry the sky’ has ensured that this type of poetry is my favourite. From start to finish, the words in this book were powerful and had plenty of impact, but all in different ways and for different reasons.

When it comes to poetry, every word matters. The poem and the page work together to create an impression on the reader, and that aspect of the written word really comes across in this collection. I can also tell how much passion the author has for this form of writing, not only do the poems read naturally, but they are nuanced and have a wider cultural reference to the world around us. The words reflect the world back at us, both in what I’d describe as a ‘typically poetic’ way, in the repetition of the beauty and significance of the natural world and the sky, but also in the way violence and feminism is portrayed to us.

The book is divided into four parts. Although they aren’t titled, they don’t need to be. The chapters speak to each other but also deal with their own subjects and contain their own messages. My favourite parts (the ones that left the strongest impression on me) were parts 3 and 4.

One particular poem in part 3 had a very physically strong impact on me, so much so that I felt I had been hit in the chest and had my heart grabbed at by the significance and importance of what I had just read. It was unexpected, both in its subject and in how it made me react.

What is unique is the way the short-form is taken to the next level, by adding an attribution at the end of some poems. This is established at the beginning:

“pain is only beautiful
in poetry
do not let it trick you
into thinking
– foreword”

The use of this works brilliantly. It is simple, yet adds more meaning to the words that precede it. Its subtly is what I love.

I finished this book with a racing heart. I want more! I will be returning to it, especially part 4 which had poems with messages that I really needed to hear. I felt myself whispering ‘yes’ more than once while reading this, which is why I highly recommend this book.

I’m looking forward to future books by this author (fingers crossed!)

Link to the book on Goodreadswe carry the sky

Buy the book on Amazonwe carry the sky

NOTE: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. Please see my contact page if you are an author who wishes me to review your book and would like more information.



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