Review: When I Grow Up I Want to be Mary Beard – Megan Beech

46 - When I Grow Up I Want to be Mary Beard

Rating – 4*

I have said it before, and will undoubtedly repeat myself many times, I am by no means an expert on poetry. What I do know however is that I absolutely adored this poetry collection and would very, very highly recommend this.

Megan Beech is a performance poet; sometimes performance poetry just does not translate well when written down and read, this collection however translates to the written word beautifully. I found getting in to the rhythm of these really quite easy, it sometimes took a bit of slowing down to find that rhythm but it wasn’t in any way impossible. This easy rhythm made Beech’s voice come across clearly for me, although I am very aware that other people have struggled in finding this.

The poems themselves really resonated with me. Her point of view is one I really identified with and I found so much of myself and my own opinion in her words. What she was just saying sung to my soul, however cheesy that sounds. Her words are fearless, and it was both beautifully poetic and yet raw, exposed and quite brash. On the whole, I’d say it was amazing – and very, very passionate. One of my favourites in the collection was possibly Dadverts; actually it’s one of the more quiet pieces, it’s slower, but it really stood out for me.

I was torn as to whether I could give this 4 or 5 stars. It’s definitely the best poetry collection I’ve had the pleasure of reading, and one I will be revisiting. I loved Kate Tempest’s work, but if I’m honest this was better (or at least resonated more with me individually). I’m going to be keeping my eyes peeled for more by Megan Beech because this woman is amazing. Really, give this a go because it’s wonderful.

2 thoughts on “Review: When I Grow Up I Want to be Mary Beard – Megan Beech

  1. Reading performance poetry for me is often like reading lyrics. The lines might be great. They might be cliche and trite. But it’s like seeing the words to a song without the singer or music arrangement. It’s trying to judge bread by checking out the flour…

    • I really like that analogy! Even though I adored this, I completely understand where you’re coming from. I think it can be hit and miss, this collection I could pick the threads up fine and it worked just as well written as it did performed (having checked some of them out on youtube since reading this).

      But yes, I completely get what you’re saying. I love the freedom of interpretation when it’s written, being able to find my own rhythm as I read it. But hearing it spoken/performed just adds another dimension and gives it a different level of engagement! It’s how the poet wanted it spoken and I think that adds a completely different level of interpretation.

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