I’ve always loved poetry, but rarely connected with many of the flowery sonnets and odes you’re assigned to read in school. Some poetry is so chock-full of fancy imagery and mixed metaphors that you’d rather finally clean your disaster of a room than wade through those “thee”s and “thou”s just to come up with fifty possible meanings for each stanza (all of which your teacher would then tell you were wrong, anyways – you remember those days). But give me a short, uncomplicated poem? I’m hooked. There’s a power held in simple poetry, charged by concrete details and everyday language, that isn’t found anywhere else.


So when I heard of Lang Leav’s Love & Misadventure, I knew this book would be right up my alley. A collection of poetry, accented with gothic doll-style illustrations and a bit of prose, Love & Misadventure carries weight and meaning, all housed behind a façade of simple words. Each poem is short and to-the-point, but Leav’s choice of words gives each poem a deeper message than you’d expect from first glance. Nothing tricky here, though – the intended meaning of each poem is not only apparent, but felt at your core.


If you haven’t heard of Lang Leav, she’s pretty much an international badass. An artist, poet, and gothic Lolita clothing designer, Leav has gained quite the reputation as a creative force to be reckoned with. Just like her personal style, Leav’s art and poetry carries an element of childlike simplicity and wonder, but a world of heartbreak, loss, and tragedy lurks below the surface.  Love & Misadventure juxtaposes these conflicting elements well; the collection is broken up into three parts, each corresponding with a certain category of emotions experienced in romantic relationship – Misadventure, The Circus of Sorrows, and Love. The second section of the book hits the hardest, as Leav manages to relay experiences of jealousy, unrequited love, and heartache in small, punchy poems, encapsulating feeling you can’t describe but know all too well.

No need to worry, though — Leav brilliantly heals the sorrow brought about by part two with her last chapter, Love, which focuses on the beautiful aspects of romance that make the heartbreak worth enduring. Love & Misadventure may be a quick read, but it’s a haunting one that conjures up a wealth of introspection and self-discovery.  Whether or not you’re usually one for poetry, Leav’s work reads like the lyrics to your favorite song and hits like the twist in your favorite film. You won’t regret it.


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