‘Until that point I could not separate my patterns of self and allocate the lessons I learnt to me. I needed to know what had to be addressed, forgiven, and let go.’
‘It took me a long while for me to realise everything is politics and an even longer time to realise I have a choice.’
‘My spirit as a watcher has now joined with her owners, and I feel my times are at one, fitted, connected for me to grasp, walk forward.’
I Am, is, as the title suggests, a book about identity, yes, but it’s also so much more. Michelle rebuilds the picture of ‘self’ that allows her to transcend adversity and move forward to become the woman she was born to be.
My impression was that I Am was sharp with feeling: adoption files discovered, family, poetry, coming of age, marriage, and family reunion. There were lessons on this curve, espoused through passionate poetry, focusing on different times of Michelle’s life, bringing forward to the page those feelings from within, liberating them.
I liked how the personal linked with the creative journey. There were gaps, as the book was written from fragments of memories, which only serve to inspire the reader to think on what led to personal transformation.
For any upcoming or established poet, author Michelle Scally-Clarke’s book is a ray of light and meaning, showing us what a poet is made of and how words can laser through injustice; provide a platform for raw feeling, being grounded, and protest.