At First, Lonely – Tanya Davis

27 Feb

Best-known as a musician and a spoken-word performer, poet Tanya Davis has now taken to the page with At First, Lonely. In this collection, she reflects on life’s many passages: falling in love and out, the search for personal truth, the search for home. Davis’s style is one-of-a-kind: a blend of contemporary phrasing with profound personal expression. But her message is universal; over two million people have watched How to Be Alone, a film adaptation of her poem created by independent filmmaker Andrea Dorfman. Tanya Davis’ poetry challenges the intellect and touches deep places in the heart.

I don’t think I can explain how much I love At First, Lonely and Tanya Davis. I don’t throw the word brilliant around lightly, but I have no issues using it here to describe Tanya and her work.

I don’t read a lot of poetry. I think it stems from my university days when I had it shoved down my throat daily. I learned quickly that I’m not a fan of metaphors and such. I want poetry that I can understand and identify with. And At First, Lonely gave me exactly that.

These aren’t just poems. They’re pieces of Tanya: her personality, her life, her being.  It’s impossible to read this volume and not feel like you know her, just a little bit. And that you could sit down, tell her about the shit in your life and know that she’d understand.

I own two of Tanya’s albums, so when I read At First, Lonely, I couldn’t help but read it with her intonations and pauses. For some this might have taken away from the poems, but for me, it added to them.

This was just a gorgeous, honest collection of poems.I feel that if I say anything else I will cross the line from acceptable gushing to insane gushing, so I’ll leave you with Tanya’s spoken word piece, How to be Alone, which is included in the book.

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4 Responses to “At First, Lonely – Tanya Davis”

  1. Cait H. February 27, 2012 at 6:03 pm #

    I absolutely love this poem and video. I had no idea she had a book out! I will most definitely need to check it out =)

    • lavenderlines February 27, 2012 at 7:19 pm #

      OMG yes, get it! And if you get the chance to see Tanya live, GO!!!!!

      • Cait H. February 27, 2012 at 11:42 pm #

        I will! Spoken-word is a beautiful writing style.

        We had a speaker at the African History Month assembly at school Friday who is a spoken word poet/writer and she was amazing! I’ll have to find her name and pass it on to you – the poem she did out loud was brilliant.

  2. amymckie March 6, 2012 at 1:10 pm #

    Great review, I really loved this as well! And can’t say enough great things about How to be Alone.

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