Monday, December 7, 2015

Before we are ghosts by Tan Lixin

I was just sharing with my friend Alvin yesterday on how difficult it is to review poetry. Often, the poetry reading experience is quite indescribable (enjoyable as it is) and I end up not reviewing most of the books on poetry I've read. And then a new book comes along, and I find the strength to carry on. 

Tan Lixin's latest offering, Before We Are Ghosts explores loss, change and death. She does so in a quiet and understated manner with poetry that is more accessible than most. What sets her apart are the surprising turns of phrases that are a breath of fresh air in the often heavy and sombre poems that surround the topic of death and loss. 

I rather enjoyed this book and finished it relatively quickly. In my second reading, I discovered my favourite piece, titled Good Friday

I thought I'd share it with you. 

Well, I'd recommend this book to everyone because death is ultimately inevitable. I find that processing one's emotion through the medium of poetry is quite healing and would encourage more to do so. 

You can get this book at Books Actually. 

Disclaimer: The publisher sent me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 


  1. Just passing by:)..."Good Friday" is beautiful! I was mesmerized by the first piece "Evenings" and "Departure" (if I remember the title correctly) while coming across the collection at Kinokuniya. Just sharing: Try Cyril Wong's "The Lover's Inventory"...Cheers!

    1. Will check it out when I have the chance! Thanks for the recommendation!