Let’s Hope There Are More Poetic Bunns In the Oven
Chelsea Bunn is an excellent poet, producing work that is poised to be on every reader’s shelf. She writes with a rare grace that allows her poems to dance what seems to be a smooth waltz down every page. Forgiveness is a book filled with the heartaches and griefs that so often accompany any moment that requires the somber act of love that is forgiveness. Published in 2019 through Finishing Line Press, this collection is timeless.
Bunn’s piece “These Stories Are True” features five stanzas of elegant erasure poems using the statements made by Senator Al Franken, actors Kevin Spacey and Jeffrey Tambor, comedian Louis C.K. and convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein after having been accused of sexual misconduct as its backbone. Bunn creates masterful verses in these stanzas that are serrated with an unique emotional resonance.
Misdeeds of all kinds are laid bare in this text. And Bunn raises an interesting question placing the above mentioned poem in a work entitled after the act of releasing the rancor left behind by someone’s misdeeds. In “The Meeting,” the speaker recounts how she came to be at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting:
I was there
because my husband found
my fourth step inventory
and a fourth step inventory is where
you list whom you have harmed
and I had harmed him
but he didn’t know
until he read it
Not only does the speaker recognize that she must forgive herself to begin her own journey to recovery but she must truly acknowledge that she harmed others as well. Perhaps Bunn is trying to offer this insight into personal growth to those who need it but don’t yet recognize how to execute it properly.
“Valentine’s Day 2012: Last Message From My Father” is a work that will crush anyone who has lost a loved one. Bunn’s writing style perfectly depicts the awkward pauses, intakes of breath, the clearings of the throat all caught while leaving a message on the phone. She brings the act to life and by doing so scatters glass and other debris on the floor so her readers will trip and feel horrible stabs of loss in their hearts.
It will be no surprise if Forgiveness suddenly begins appearing on bookshelves everywhere. Chelsea Bunn has crafted a poetry collection that is both lovely and heartbreaking.
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