The Only Worlds We Know

The Only Worlds We Know

The Only Worlds We Know is a nuanced and tactile look at both sobriety, and what comes after. Patient meditations on loss and the land where the people we love live and are also buried....

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Title:The Only Worlds We Know
Author:Michael Lee
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The Only Worlds We Know Reviews

  • Richard

    A writer of poems just wants their voice to be heard.

    Michael Lee is a talented writer and performer of his words; a poet who can express himself and engage an audience.

    Button Poetry have championed a number of poets and The Only Words We Know is a collection of Lee’s poems brought together in one publication for the first time.

    He is a clever writer whose emotional expression is in your face; an octave above angry more akin to rage. Yet it doesn’t spill out in

    A writer of poems just wants their voice to be heard.

    Michael Lee is a talented writer and performer of his words; a poet who can express himself and engage an audience.

    Button Poetry have championed a number of poets and The Only Words We Know is a collection of Lee’s poems brought together in one publication for the first time.

    He is a clever writer whose emotional expression is in your face; an octave above angry more akin to rage. Yet it doesn’t spill out in an incomprehensible tirade of violent rhetoric but in a controlled outburst of conviction and spirit.

    Michael Lee is also a clever wordsmith as well as a weaver of emotional nuance as seen in some of his work here. To this end I commend ‘The Law of Halves as Applied to the Blade’ and ‘The Study of Words and Heaven’ (elsewhere titled “remember”).

    I also enjoyed the disappearing poem. Firstly, it was ‘Self-Erasure’ “ ......a block of salt worn by rain, drop by drop.” Then it became ‘ Erasure ‘ with missing words and just “worn by rain.” And finally ‘Eras e’ far fewer words still, but a viable poem nonetheless.

    I liked ‘Tapestry in Five Parts’ “a rusted plow the color of embers and clay.”

    Other instantly gripping poems would include ‘Out There’ ‘Row’ ‘The Pill’ and ‘Leaving’.

    The poet’s voice is not just contained in this book-as he can be seen in videos reading his poems across the Internet.

    Poetry isn’t initially for everyone but the more you read or listen to, the wider your appreciation.

    Into the mix I would want to throw Michael Lee’s work.

    With his words he has something to say.

  • Dora Okeyo

    I keep saying that Button poetry ought to give me some of the juice they're sipping because very collection I read from them moves me, and this one, this one stopped me right in my tracks.

    Ever asked yourself 'how do I talk about this topic without offending someone?' Read this.

    Ever asked yourself, 'what's it like standing still in darkness?' Read this.

    Ever asked yourself, 'what does it feel like to be uncertain, afraid, hopeful, weary, loved, in-love, just living?' Read this.

  • Lauren Anna

    This, like everything that has been written about death, is also about being alive. Michael Lee is one of the first poets that made me love poetry, that made me love language like this. A beautiful collection.

  • Emily

    I had the pleasure of hearing Michael read at the Spirit Room in Rochester, NY. His poems were so gripping, I knew I had to snag a copy of his book.

    As I read them, I heard his voice in my ears. These poems are sharp and powerful, and reminded me of the

    and

    stuff I've been reading earlier this year. Lots of exploration of death, grief, addiction, and despair.

    Looking forward to seeing what else Lee writes.

  • Sasha Davydova

    This collection is a powerful window into the pain of survival. It is written with unyielding, refreshingly uncensored honesty. There is no reliance on braiding pretty words together, just a stark and quiet power that struck me like a blow (to the head, heart, and gut all at once) from the first word to the last.

    When asked about the death of his son, one of the things Nick Cave said that stayed with me was - “If we love, we grieve”. The author Loves deeply.

    If you have ever loved, read this. If

    This collection is a powerful window into the pain of survival. It is written with unyielding, refreshingly uncensored honesty. There is no reliance on braiding pretty words together, just a stark and quiet power that struck me like a blow (to the head, heart, and gut all at once) from the first word to the last.

    When asked about the death of his son, one of the things Nick Cave said that stayed with me was - “If we love, we grieve”. The author Loves deeply.

    If you have ever loved, read this. If you have grieved (though sources of grief are never finite), read this. If you are a friend of Bill’s. Read this. Words rise off these pages and touch you where you thought nobody would ever reach. They give shape to pain, affection, memory, solitude, and loss in a way that is commanding, baring, and comforting all at once.

    I will be waiting for more. 5 stars is not enough. It seems silly to force a frame onto this intensely intimate selection of pieces of a heart, but such is the time we live in. I hope that my writing this will help put this book into the hands of even just one more person that really needs to read it. You know who you are.

    And to Michael, if you see this -

    Thank you.

  • Alex Aguilar

    i don't read a whole lot of poetry in general, and even less new poetry, so it was mostly by chance that i picked this one up. a good friend of mine jokes that when he doesn't know anything about a book he specifically judges it by its cover, and that's basically how i picked this one. the title caught my eye and i thought the minimalist design was pretty. luckily the entire thing turned out to be just as good.

    there were a few poems that, although they didn't really do anything for m

    i don't read a whole lot of poetry in general, and even less new poetry, so it was mostly by chance that i picked this one up. a good friend of mine jokes that when he doesn't know anything about a book he specifically judges it by its cover, and that's basically how i picked this one. the title caught my eye and i thought the minimalist design was pretty. luckily the entire thing turned out to be just as good.

    there were a few poems that, although they didn't really do anything for me, were still well put together, i thought. other than those though, the whole collection was consistently beautiful and heartbreaking. i really enjoyed that these poems thematically complemented each other, that they actually felt like they belonged together. also i was surprised and excited to see someone use typographical experiments (more like games, really) and for it to not come across as cheap or gimmicky. but most impressive of all was mr. lee's beautiful turns of phrase, i mean wow. i'm definitely looking forward picking up copies of everything else he puts out. i'll end this with a couple of my favorite lines.

    "Give it six months. If you don't like it,

    you can have all your pain

    and misery back."

    "Each moment

    of winter is so faint and silent it is a memory

    even as you live it."

    "Just yesterday.

    I found new ways to say

    I miss you, my god

    how I miss you all."

  • Timm Keppler

    I don’t read a great deal of poetry, but I enjoyed this. Some pieces and passages in the collection more than others. Like this:

    “The clock is a more complicated machine than the gun, and certainly the knife, but they all have the same final trick. There will, one day, be another war, and another, and the theory of everything comes down to grass and is simply grass, which grows long and green and endlessly. There are one hundred ways to destroy it, and one hundred more ways it will find its way

    I don’t read a great deal of poetry, but I enjoyed this. Some pieces and passages in the collection more than others. Like this:

    “The clock is a more complicated machine than the gun, and certainly the knife, but they all have the same final trick. There will, one day, be another war, and another, and the theory of everything comes down to grass and is simply grass, which grows long and green and endlessly. There are one hundred ways to destroy it, and one hundred more ways it will find its way back out of the dirt.“

  • Reading Tam Ishly

    This one is more hard hitting than I ever thought it would be.

    This collection of poems deals with death, grief mostly and the lines just reach your heart and mind with equal gusto and stay there.

    The author talks about violence, the deaths of the people he used to know and his feelings about such issues.

    My favourite turns out to be the following one :

    ''The rain has begun to fall, if I'm lucky

    the fire will go out and you will follow, cross

    my mind for a final time or at least t

    This one is more hard hitting than I ever thought it would be.

    This collection of poems deals with death, grief mostly and the lines just reach your heart and mind with equal gusto and stay there.

    The author talks about violence, the deaths of the people he used to know and his feelings about such issues.

    My favourite turns out to be the following one :

    ''The rain has begun to fall, if I'm lucky

    the fire will go out and you will follow, cross

    my mind for a final time or at least take me

    with you. The only way through is through.

    If love is a city two people make then it is

    also a place that has no use when its people leave,

    though here I am tending to its dust. Nothing moves

    but could. Even the city's single bird - birthed by our laughter- sings a single note and that one note hangs permanently in the air.'

    I just love it!

    I will definitely look forward to more of the upcoming collections by this author.

    Thanks #NetGalley for the book #TheOnlyWorldsWeKnow

  • Iqra M.

    A beautiful debut -- Such a mesmerising and heartbreaking collection of poetry.

    It tackles sensitive topics like sobriety so I couldn't help but picture Mr Sherlock Holmes writing some of the poems and proses. Although brutally honest, the writing truly galvanised me.

    Thank you, Button Poetry and Netgalley for the free copy in exchange for an honest review.

  • Madhuri Palaji

    The Only Worlds We Know by Michael Lee - Book Review

    The Only Worlds We Know by Michael Lee is a small book of poems. The poems talk about pain, loss, grief, addiction and people we love. I felt that the poems are very intense. There were a little loud and on the darker side but certain lines in the poems make you pause and re-read to understand the depth. There is a honesty in thee author's words that exume an out of the world philosophy.

    The pain in the poems hits the reader hard. I

    The Only Worlds We Know by Michael Lee - Book Review

    The Only Worlds We Know by Michael Lee is a small book of poems. The poems talk about pain, loss, grief, addiction and people we love. I felt that the poems are very intense. There were a little loud and on the darker side but certain lines in the poems make you pause and re-read to understand the depth. There is a honesty in thee author's words that exume an out of the world philosophy.

    The pain in the poems hits the reader hard. It's short but very strong. This book took me by surprise. Definitely a remarkable debut by the author Michael Lee!

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