Bright Dead Things is a book of poems by Ada Limón, a contemporary poet in Kentucky. Being a poet myself, I was very eager for her to be a guest speaker at my university, but the fact that she was a successful woman made me even more ecstatic. She read from her newest product Bright Dead Things and it was the most powerful reading I had ever been to (and I have been to many, many readings). The very first poem she read was on the first page of her book and was titled How to Triumph Like a Girl, already I knew how powerful she really was. The poem compares her heart to a horse’s heart, which is averagely eight pounds. She beautifully torn down the wall of standards society has set for women in less than twenty lines. Teary eyed and my breath taken away, I clapped when she finished; I was (and truthfully still am) impressed by how delicate her poem is even though it conquers a very raw problem with our society.
After reading a few of her other poems later that week, I noticed a theme of empowerment and strength that flowed through the pages. To say that this poet is now my inspiration would be an understatement; there is so much to learn from her as a woman, poet, and just human in general. She transforms her obstacles in life into a beautiful form of art that is dying out, which is a problem in itself. However, Mrs. Limón seemed unmoved by the small crowd at the reading that night, and did not complain about the dying of what she loves to produce. Although there were many dark times in her life, the title of her poetry book says it all – Bright Dead Things (believe it or not, she is talking about carrots).
Bottom line, if you have not heard of her, I highly suggest looking into her works and her life. She is truly an inspiration and a wonderful role model for young women in our society.
“I didn’t know I was changing my life – that I would have done anything, that what was left of me would become so ruthless to survive,” – What Remains Grows Ravenous, Ada Limón.