• Olivia Velasquez

"Violet Bent Backwards Over the Grass" – okay?

Poetry is one of the most difficult things to discuss in any sort of objective manner. The truth is, most of us have a different perception of what it means for something to be considered poetry. Especially over the last few years, I think we’ve seen an influx of celebrities writing and releasing their own poetry books. Most recently, we’ve seen releases from Lili Reinhart of Riverdale, Gabbie Hanna from YouTube, Bella Thorne from Disney Channel, and now Lana Del Rey. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

Lana Del Rey is a musician whose first major album debuted in 2012. Some of her most well-known songs include “Summertime Sadness,” “Blue Jeans,” and “Born to Die.” She is a six-time Grammy nominated musician in the dream pop genre.

Violet Bent Backwards Over the Grass is Lana Del Rey’s first published written work. The 120-page book was released in 2020 and includes a lot of photographs within. As such a popular lyricist, her poetry was expected to be amazing. Personally, it wasn’t for me.

I think Lana’s poetry had an audience, and that consists of her fans and readers of newer poetry. While the book itself is gorgeous, and the writing is okay, the content simply didn’t blow me away. Over the years, poetry has changed a lot. Especially with the popularity of Rupi Kaur’s Milk and Honey, a new genre of poetry has become extremely popular. In my opinion, this new genre is known as internet poetry. To me, this often means the poems read like a status update on Facebook, more than they do a poem. The other indication of internet poetry is the feeling that you’re reading someone’s journal. That is exactly how I would describe the reading experience of this book.

The pictures are beautiful, the cover is stunning, but I’m not sure the content was entirely worth my time or my $19.99, though that is purely based on my preference of poetry. As I read more, I’m discovering that this style isn’t for me.

However, if you are a fan of poetry books like Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur, anything by Atticus, or popular books like those, I might suggest giving this one a try. If not anything else, this is a seriously gorgeous book to have on your shelves. I would also encourage fans of Lana Del Rey’s music to try this collection. Perhaps with a more vested interest in her life and work, the book would be more rewarding. Overall, the book was okay. I might suggest flipping through it at a bookstore before purchasing.

Violet Bent Backwards Over the Grass is available as a print book, ebook, and as a spoken word album. These are available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever you listen to music.


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