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To Be Seen Is To Be Loved

What Kind of Woman by Kate Baer (Harper Perennial)

What Kind of Woman cover

October 27, 2020

Dear Mr. Hemingway,

I retired early to bed last night. I am not going to lie, the weight of life and the world around me felt extra heavy for some reason (2020 can do that to you). I not only found solace in my bed with my flannel sheets wrapped around me but in a very special book that will forever be in arm’s reach. Kate Baer’s debut poetry book, What Kind of Woman has a permanent place on my nightstand.  Like so many of you reading this, I too am a wife, mother, sister, friend, daughter, and then some.  It takes a lot not to topple over from the number of hats I wear in a single day.  The joy and responsibility of being a woman are in fact, my true love.   It is also one that keeps me up late into the night with worry, uncertainty, guilt, and wonder.  I found much comfort in Kate Baer’s words. Her poems made me realize that I am not alone with these ginormous feelings.   Her words are the late-night company we all need from time to time.  An absolute gift for the soul.  Enjoy!

I am by no means an avid reader of poetry.  I never know what to read or who to read and quite honestly…most poems intimidate me.  Baer’s book of poems came to me at the most perfect time.  If all goes well, you could say I am wrapping up the first half of my life and the third quarter is about to kick off.  I am blessed to have loving parents, two incredible sisters, a dynamite husband, fabulous friends and three sons who completely rock my world.  I was stunned at how much Baer’s poem’s resonated with me on so many levels.  As a woman, I felt seen.  I felt heard.  I felt understood.  Damn…that felt good.  I can say with confidence that I identified with so much of what she wrote.  Her simple words delivered razor sharp prose that delighted me, haunted me and left me yearning for more.  

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the luscious poems included in this book. 

Twenties 

“Once I kissed a girl in Jerusalem, all legs and cherry lips.  I did not take her number.  I did not know how much I’d long to hold her in my arms again.”

Robyn Hood

“Imagine if we took back our diets, our grand delusions, the time spent thinking about the curve of our form.”

Things No One Says To Me

“You make it look easy

You don’t look like you just had a baby

Motherhood looks good on you”

Deleted Sentences 

“Dear husband. Dear Lover.  Dear lover of my heart.  No, I do not want to attend the barbecue scheduled cruelly over naptime.  I do not want to go to the recital either.  Can you tell your sister that too?  In the morning I saw you dancing with our daughter and for a moment I almost cried.  I hate when people say I almost cried.  Why even mention it at all?”

Childhood

“I do not remember being born

or how I knew my mother’s face.

Only that we woke to the sound 

of pots banging against the stove,

knowing she would be downstairs.”

Things My Girlfriends Teach Me

“Drink more water.  Fold your sweaters. This is the time to buy a hat.  When life throws you a bag of sorrow, hold out your hands.”

Marriage Tales

After arguments they speak only through emails. Dear Wife, I’m sorry I insulted the ravioli and Dear Husband, I’m sorry you did not write down the appointment we spoke of on Tuesday.”

Are you tempted now to read this powerful book of poetry?  I can assure you that this is a book to keep, treasure and revisit always.  There is reflection and discovery in Baer’s words that tugged on my heart strings.  Put your worries aside if you have felt discouraged by poetry in the past.  Baer’s Poetry is undemanding to read.  The accessibility of her words will grace you with a familiarity you so longed for.  Baer’s small but mighty book is one I will be gifting to all the special women in my life.  It is the gift that keeps on giving. 

Until next time my friend!

Your Biggest Fan,

Kelly

P.S.  Kate Baer’s book comes out November 10, 2020

Pre-order this gem below from your local bookseller ASAP.

Click on the book pic below to purchase.

What Kind of Woman Book Cover

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