Angst is a collection of poems written by and for teenage girls compiled from the online teen web community PlanetKiki.com. It is important to note, that planetkiki.com no longer exists as a web domain. This is somewhat understandable as this book was published in 2001, so what was popular then is definitely not popular anymore. However, it also leads me to wonder, where did all of the poems hosted on the site go?
The cool thing about this book is that at the end, there is a whole chapter called Poetry 101 that provides information and encouragement for budding poets. It has a whole glossary of poem types and tools to consider using while writing poetry.
The downside to reading this book, for me, what that it was hard to connect with the poems. Many of them were written in a style that seems too juvenile and literal to me. I was writing poetry when I was in middle school and high school. To the point where my 8th grade teachers encouraged me to submit to poetry publications, and my father bought me Good Poems by Garrison Keillor, which still graces my bookshelf and traveled to an from college with me for three years.
My style used metaphors and abstract meanings to express my thoughts. They were deep and, to me, high impactful. They were a way to address my feelings and worldview in a way no other literary form would allow. I’ve always been excessively wordy; filling whitespace with thoughts and “word vomit” both on the page and in my everyday life. Silences tend to make me uncomfortable in conversation, and so often I over-speak and over-share, not sure where to place the period .
I miss writing poetry, and I miss the power of short phrases to say long sentences. These poems didn’t do that for me, and I think even as a young adult reader, these poems would have felt rudimentary to me. As an adult, I see their usefulness in representing teens in YA Lit and empowering others to explore themselves as poets. However, at the end of the day, as a compilation to read, it did not stick with me.
PlanetKiKi. (2001). Angst: Teen verses from the edge. New York: Workman Publishing.