cover image The How: Notes on the Great Work of Meeting Yourself

The How: Notes on the Great Work of Meeting Yourself

Yrsa Daley-Ward. Penguin, $17 trade paper (192p) ISBN 978-0-1431-3560-9

Poet Daley-Ward (bone) wonders, “In a world so filled with voice, how to ever be sure of your own?” in this gratifying exploration of self. Daley-Ward excels at describing the indescribable: depression is referred to as “the thing that lurks” and loneliness is “a mix of several unspecified, blue things.” To deal with these and other negative feelings, she practices self-care by spending time alone, saying, “ ‘Selfish’ has horrible press, and yet this inward focus, this business of feeling good, is vital when it comes to the wealth of the mind.” She draws inspiration from the magic of the universe and the power of nature, which Daley-Ward suggests teaches “the largest acts of love” because “it shows us itself again and again and asks us for nothing.” This work defies genre and features a beautiful blend of lyrical prose and bold poetry: “We are human, and often we think of ourselves as lone, separate entities, forgetting that we are connected to this odd and expanding universe, forgetting that we are part of something vast and unexplained.” Amid her musings, Daley-Ward also weaves in affirmations and prompts for self-reflection. This is a tender, hopeful meditation. (Nov.)