Review – Pillow Thoughts III

“I Just hoped you would love me

in the way dry earth loves the rain”

– Courtney Peppernell, Pillow Thoughts III

I was lucky enough to receive a copy of Pillow Thoughts III from NetGalley and the publisher Andrews McMeel Publishing in exchange for my honest review. This poetry collection comes out on the 6th of August this year and is the third part to Courtney Peppernell’s Pillow Thoughts collections.

Alright friends, please bear with me here I have never written a critical review for poetry. It’s not like I’ve never read poetry before, I just feel as though it’s incredibly difficult to choose a rating on a collection of poems. For example, Pillow Thoughts III includes poems that I loved and related to 100% but it also included poems that I had absolutely no interest in.

So how do I rate the collection as a whole without it reflecting an opinion that doesn’t fully represent how I felt?

The answer, is to try my damn best at explaining my thoughts I guess. So please don’t take the star rating at face value. It really doesn’t represent how I feel about this collection, it is just a rough average of my ratings for each poem. Anyway, enough prattling on let us get to the juicy stuff.

I want to begin as always, by saying that this review may contain thoughts and opinions that could spoil the book for you. I do always try my best to steer clear of the main plot thread when writing these reviews, but obviously things get a bit muddy when it comes to reviewing a poetry collection rather than a prose story as there isn’t much else to discuss if you avoid the poems.

Pillow Thoughts III is broken into 5 different sub categories, each category title gives the reader an idea about what kind of things the writer attributes her poetry to… At least thats how I saw it, with each of the first 4 sub-titles starting with “If your mind is/needs/has…” and the final sub-title called “These are for your mind”.

The collection started off well, there were lines that resonated with me and I appreciated that while each of these poems were categorised under the title ‘If your mind is on someone’ they seem confined to that concept.

“I keep myself distracted all throughout the day

with coffee and books

and things that make me drift away”

– Courtney Peppernell, Pillow Thoughts III

The following two sections of this collection had me ‘ooh-ing’ and ‘ahh-ing’ pretty much the entire time. I had a lot of trouble reading these parts critically because I just lost myself in the emotion and imagery of them.

“Some nights it’s as though the moon has fallen,

and she is throbbing in my chest.

It’s as though she is crying out for me to follow the stars”

– Courtney Peppernell, Pillow Thoughts III

The rest of the collection didn’t hit home for me, and I stopped feeling as though my soul was being reflected in the words on the page. I started to notice that certain ideas and phrases were being regurgitated in different ways. It disappointed me to see all that beautiful emotive poetry at the beginning of the collection be dragged into what felt like inspirational jargon. However, I still found that Peppernell uses wonderfully vivid imagery regardless of the topic.

“I hope you fall in love with stories and dance in snowflakes and raindrops”

– Courtney Peppernell, Pillow Thoughts III

Overall, I did really enjoy this poetry collection and as someone that has never read any of Peppernell’s previous collections I think that it is vivid and emotive and quite easily relatable. Her use of similes gave the poems that little something extra that really made me stop and appreciate what was being said. Yes, I did find some of the poetry topics to be formulaic and cliché but I would still recommend this collection to my friends that read poetry.

My overall rating for this collection is about 3 – 3.5 out of 5.


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