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White Knuckle

A collection of poetry that unearths the heartache and tragedies of child abuse. Steven Bruce has written a book about his experiences as a child afflicted by parental abuse and the abuse of the foster system. This collection of poems goes over several hard-hitting topics like addiction and substance abuse, domestic violence, verbal abuse and growing up homeless. White Knuckle is a heart-wrenching read for those who don’t see this pain every day and, hopefully, a comfort to those who are fighting similar demons; know that you’re not alone.

Bruce’s poems are very direct and leave little to the imagination. They are eloquently written. So, as someone who has had a happy childhood, it’s hard to imagine how anyone could be so inhumane to a child. I will confess I choked up several times reading about the abuse and pain Bruce went through. Some of the poems had me wondering if they relate to any myths or legends like Black Dog. There are folklore stories about demonic black dogs wandering cemeteries in search of lost souls to eat or guide to the afterlife/drag to hell. There is another story I found while looking up the myths about black dogs –newly created cemeteries would replace the first resident with a deceased black dog to save the person’s soul from going to hell. I’m not sure I see the reason for the last one, but Bruce’s poems, like this one, give a person pause to reflect on a deeper meaning.

There is no wrong way to write a poem as long as it has meaning to the poet. Readers will be pondering the meaning of some of the poems, like Sand and Moonlight, Street Gum and Avocado. There is a deeper meaning to these poems that is elusive yet potent.

White Knuckle is an intense and gritty collection of rousing poetry. I personally try to avoid these extremely emotional and heart-wrenching topics based solely on the fact I try to avoid crying but this is one book that I would definitely read again.

Pages: 102 | ASIN: B08HY35T2W

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