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Dark Days by Venus Connelly

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A collection of forty-four poems, Venus Connelly’s Dark Days¬†chronicles her struggles through the written word as she dealt with debilitating bipolar disorder, agoraphobia, and PTSD. These illnesses were further aggravated due to her divorce. Through writing, the poet was able to cope and conquer her disabilities, grappling with each verse as she contemplated how to heal her mind and soul. A mother of two teenagers, Connelly found strength in constructing poetic pieces, many of which are included here. The work here goes to display how writing can calm and heal, poems coming out of the writer as individual pieces of medicine. Luckily, for the reader, what Connelly has written is also accessible and relatable. Ideas of darkness versus light are explored, as the poet wonders about the connections that both bring us together, and divide. Most of the poems are on the abstract side, as they convey emotion without necessarily telling a story. Connelly often contemplates her sanity, hoping for solace and protection as she wonders about the beauty of nature and the unexplainable mishaps that often compound upon her.

The poems included here are easy to absorb, as they all run about half a page with short lines and easy to read phrases. While most of the pieces are introspective, with the poet looking into the depths of herself, the reader will still be able to relate to her frustrations and in turn sort through some of their own issues if they are at all feeling any of the same emotions. The pain and rawness of Connelly’s life are expressed through her work. Although the collection does tend to focus a lot on darkness and difficult issues, there is still a silver lining of hope lingering throughout the entire book, that shows the reader the poet is downtrodden, but not giving up.