As I was contemplating writing this review of “Songs With Our Eyes Closed“, I was struck by how immensely moved I was by this book. Tyler Kent White creates a collection of poetry that grabs hold of you and makes you feel the pain and the sheer emotion of the author with every word he writes.
I was moved to tears several times throughout this book because it was so honest, so vulnerable. This collection truly changed me, it shook me in a way that I don’t often experience, which really speaks to the author’s ability to dig deep down into our souls and create such eloquent poetry out of pain and emotion.
The first poem reads:
“to the bones in my body: may you never again know the crushing weight of the burdens I have carried and the hatred I have held for far too long.”
This poem is a perfect introduction for this collection, where the poet bravely bares his soul to his readers in some of the most moving and heartbreaking pieces I have ever read.
“You are a symphony of stardust and you were born to shine”.
The author often writes about self-worth and identity and reminds us all of our worth through his words. He inspires people to be true to themselves and to never doubt the greatness within. Here is another beautiful piece describing the importance of self-love:
“on average, we speak around 13,000 words per day. How many of them did you use to congratulate, to compliment, or encourage yourself? To say, “I know you’re doing the best you can”? my guess is probably not enough. So tonight, when you’ve only got a handful left, remember to say “I love you” to the one person you probably don’t say it to enough.”
Along with self-love, the author beautifully describes falling in love and the importance of helping others feel accepted and cherished for exactly who they are, scars and all. His message of love transcends from self to society.
“But the parts of yourself that you gave away in soft smiles and gentle hellos that changed the trajectory of another person’s life, those will stay and in the pulse of the earth you will remain.”
I absolutely love his profound perspective on love and how it is a constant choice we make, in spite of obstacles and imperfections.
“There has never been a story written or told that is greater than you. Do not let another person play a part in telling it if they cannot appreciate just how breathtaking you are.”
The writer describes love that is equal parts passion and persistence. He writes of the importance of nurturing love and souls so that their light is never dimmed with the pull of uncertainty. He doesn’t write of far-fetched notions of romance or perfect endings: he writes about the real, the raw, and the relatable love that makes our lives worth living.
The next several sections of the book focus more on self-reflection and the inner turmoil and conflict we often have about our lives, who we are, and the decisions we are making. The insights he shares are extremely relatable and raw. They discuss pain, insecurity, uncertainty, and identity. Then, they delve into heartbreak and loss. He discusses grief, abuse, addiction, regret, and loss that alters life forever.
He writes about the guilt he felt when he couldn’t save his loved one and the immense impact that has had on his heart. These are really pieces you need to read for yourselves, so I will only reference one paragraph:
“I’m sorry I let the best parts of you rot away and die inside of me. I’m sorry I was never there to catch you. I’m sorry “goodbye” was the only thing we ever got to say.”
His poems about grief are some of the most poignant and hauntingly beautiful pieces I have ever read, and it will move you in a profound way.
In regard to depression, White writes:
“no matter how depression comes, be it in gentle wakes or violent waves, when the waters rise it all feels the same.”
I know that there are so many people that will relate to this description and find comfort in his honest portrayal of his experiences. He talks about his pain with such bravery and heart. He splits open his heart to help heal all of ours.
He describes the pain and suffering following the loss of a child: the what ifs, the anger, the lingering and heart-wrenching grief.
“My daughter is a ghost, she is a name my tongue has forgotten how to speak. She is a song I no longer remember how to sing.”
The poems that follow are a beautiful tribute to his child, “back you will go to the stars that bore you. Back to the winds that carried your first and last breath. Back to the soils that harvested your life. Back you will go little human. Back to where your life began.”
Songs With Our Eyes Closed is a beautifully moving collection, which delves into the immense spectrum of human emotion: the good, the bad, the utterly heartbreaking. But, the miraculous thing is that the author writes with such bravery and such honesty, inspiring you to stand strong in the midst of pain, depression, loss, addiction, grief, heartbreak. He discusses the tough topics, with insights that so many of us can be comforted by and relate to.
I cannot stress enough how incredible this collection is. You will be moved. You will be changed. You will feel the myriad of emotions that we often share as human beings. Go get this book.
BUY YOUR COPY HERE: “Songs With Our Eyes Closed”