This is a review of Night Sky With Exit Wounds by Ocean Vuong, which I gave 5/5 stars.
“In the body, where everything has a price, I was a beggar.”
This is Vuong’s first full-length poetry collection featuring thirty-five poems touching on topics of life, family, identity, grief, and growing up in Vietnam in the aftermath of the war.
General Thoughts / Writing
“How sweet. That rain. How something that lives only to fall can be nothing but sweet.”
This collection was absolutely stunning. The writing was elegant and I was captivated from the start. Vuong’s lyricisms were bursting with emotionally charged words and stories. I’ve started reading more poetry over the years, and this collection was exactly what I was looking for. Some of my favorites from this include “Torso of Air”, (there are two poems with this title and I loved them both) “Deto(nation)”, “To My Father/To My Future Son”, “Untitled (Blue, Green, Brown): oil on canvas: Mark Rothko: 1952″, and “Headfirst”.
“The most beautiful part of your body is where it’s headed.”
This is without a doubt the best poetry collection I’ve read. Overall, there were only one or two poems that I felt were weaker than the rest, but they were in no way bad. Now, I’m looking forward to reading other works by Vuong, including his newest work, which isn’t poetry but a novel, entitled “On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous”.