Advance Review: Blossom and Bone by Nicole Lyons



Of all the poets I follow on social media and within my own literary collective, few if any speak to me on a personal level like Nicole Lyons does. While I may like and encourage many others, who post inspiring tidbits and heartbroken salvos, flirting with their darkness; Lyons full-on embraces hers in every barb and line break.

Reviewing her previous book, I Am a World of Uncertainties Disguised as a Girl, I felt a bit out of place. It had all the idiosyncrasies and charm I’ve come to expect of her work, but the overarching theme made me feel like I was watching a music festival for free outside the gates and then expecting to have a credible opinion on it.

This is not the case with Blossom and Bone. As someone who has flirted with my own mortality the last couple years, Lyons is connecting on a primal level here, all the while brilliantly splitting herself along dual lines. She draws an effortless parallel between desire to live and acceptance she cannot beat death. Love and hate, rumination and regret are all on display here.

Like most of her work, the majority is short and digestible, and I gunned through my first read in just over an hour. However, Lyons does branch into longer narratives with great success.

There is no greater example here than The Keeper of Time. Lyons constructs her epic poem of hindsight and hope into what may be my favourite piece ever from her pen.

“I give you back your dreams, rewrite them. Write them all, and don’t write them as if you were afraid of what people would think.”

The Keeper of Time, Nicole Lyons

Stages of grief infect every corner of Blossom and Bone. I teared up at I Won’t Always Be Me, and saw myself in A Hard Thing. I wanted to scream right with her during A Cosmic Disappointment, and sat in awe of Up in Smoke, a cleverly drawn parallel to the wildfires raging in her native British Columbia.

My appreciation for this little book goes far deeper than fanboyism for Lyons’ work in general. It was something that came into my life at the exact time I needed to read it. That it holds such power, rooted in not only love but desperation as well, is a testament to Lyons’ strength as a poet and writer.

Review by Nicholas Gagnier

Review by Nicholas Gagnier


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Kristiana says:

    Reblogged this on My Screaming Twenties and commented:

    Nicholas Gagnier reviews Blossom and Bone, the upcoming poetry release from Nicole Lyons 💛

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nicole Lyons says:

    Thank you so much, Nicholas! I love this review and I am so happy you wrote it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nicole Lyons says:

    Reblogged this on The Lithium Chronicles and commented:
    Thank you to Nicholas for this awesome advanced review of my next book.

    Liked by 1 person

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