Final National Poetry Month Shout Out: The Great R.H. Sin!

Well guys, here it is, my last poetry post of national poetry month. I’ve had loads of fun doing these, and I came up with enough material, that I really feel I could start up a whole blog on poetry. Hmmm… a project to consider, perhaps. For now though, I want to close out my National Poetry Month round of posts by promoting another poet that I just stumbled into and grew very fond of; R.H. Sin.

R.H. Sin is another poet who was able to find success first through building a fan base online. Like most other Instagram and social media poets, the medium allowed him to also present a visual side to his art, specifically his work as a photographer. It can be  easyto think of work being shared on social media as amateur. Isn’t everyone a photographer on Instagram? Can’t anyone just post poetry online? Well, yeah. That’s what’s so great about this whole medium. Personalities like Sin, like Rupi Kaur, like Michael Faudet and others can rise to prominence on the strength of their vision, speaking to a wide range of people, touching them with a voice and vision that’s in touch with it’s audience because there’s a real intimacy between followers and creators online. I felt that intimacy just reading Sin’s work.

I picked up R.H. Sin’s Whiskey, Words and a Shovel II mostly for the title, I’ll admit. It’s a very compelling title, and the “II” suggested that he had used it before (he did, there are now three WW&S’s out,) realized that he could never come up with a cooler title for a poetry collection than that, and decided to keep it. Yeah, he probably had other, more legitimate reasons regarding artistic vision and all that that made him choose the title, but that’s what stuck in my head when I first saw it, and I have no regrets admitting it. Really though, I should probably get into the meat of his work. This far in and talking about the titles of his books is probably taking things too slow.

Reading Sin is a gentle, reassuring experience. If Rupi Kaur’s writing is a cry for healing, Sin is more of a gentle murmur. He’s constantly reassuring his reader, or perhaps some other person that exists beyond the poem as we experience it, that it’s okay to want better things for yourself, that you have worth, are a survivor, and deserve to be happy. That actually made it a really great read for me after a long day, when I needed some sort of pick me up.

It’s really easy for poetry to be spit-fire agitating, or else flowery and romantic, but Sin’s work isn’t quite either all the way. These loving poems aren’t outpouring odes of devotion, but rather calm and spare reassurances. They are not diatribes about overcoming toxic, unhealthy relationships, but reminders that you deserve to and are able to overcome these tough times. I definitely don’t want to knock down either style I just compared Sin’s work to, but I felt like his work did something just a bit different from so many other poets that’s I’ve read, and it’s something I didn’t know I needed until I found his voice.

So I’ll be going back to more standard prose and so forth book reviews next week, next month already. I’m glad I had such a great final recommendation to finish off this month with. I encourage you to continue to seek out poetry beyond this month, and beyond what I’ve suggested here. Yeah, most poetry sections in bookstores are deplorably under-stocked, but I think you’ve noticed by now that a huge wealth of modern day poets are setting up shop online. Go ahead, check out sites like Instagram, Tumblr, Wattpad, etc. and see if you can find a voice that speaks to you in ways you didn’t know you needed to be spoken to, find something that moves and fulfills you in the best possible. That’s what poetry can do, and I hope you get to bring more of that into your life.


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