One of the things you can truly depend on in this life is that anything you read of Nikita Gill’s will inevitably break your heart. It will absolutely crush you, shatter your emotional stability, ruin you.
And then, her words will start to stitch you back together again. It’s why she is one of my favourite poets, I think. Because the force she puts into her words put you back together again after breaking you down completely.
The first work of Nikita’s I read was Wild Embers, which my sister had read first and then told me I might like. At the time, we were looking at another hour on the train and I had just finished my own book (tellingly, can’t remember what that was), so I took it from her and started. Let me tell you, she had to drag me off the train because I wouldn’t stop reading and we almost missed out station.
Your Heart is the Sea is different to Wild Embers. In a painful sense, I think. I don’t love it quite as much, because I think it helped me more to read it. Does that make sense? Wild Embers made me feel fierce and strong and amazing; Your Heart is the Sea made me aware of how very painful life can be, just as much as it made me feel like a survivor rather than just a participant. This volume makes you feel strong and fierce and amazing in a completely different way, and I am in utter awe of Nikita’s ability to weave words as well as she does.
I read this volume from cover to cover, and cried more than a couple of times. Good tears, painful though they were. And of them all, of all the words and phrases and lines and ideas and swathes of emotion painted with ink and coloured with blank space, I think this line is my favourite:
“I am both war and woman and you cannot stop me.”
It’s from a poem called An Ode To Fearless Women (p.102), and while I love the poem in entirety, that last line is my favourite. It encapsulates a lot of what I feel all the time, both inwardly and outwardly. I can’t really imagine what Nikita must have gone through to be able to write like this, but I hope she knows how much her words mean to those of us that read them.
I really, really recommend you read this volume, or any other work of Nikita’s; it will be painful, and you’ll probably be devastated, but you’ll never regret devoting the time.
Five star read, people.
Disclaimer: Thought Catalog Books contacted me to ask if I would like to review this book, based on the fact that I had posted about Nikita Gill’s work previously. So, this book was sent to me for review. As you should all know by know, the origin of a title has absolutely no effect on my opinion of its’ contents.
Image credits: Of my copy of the book, taken by me.