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“Eighteen Years” Poetry Review

by Samantha Villanueva, Visuals Staff

If there’s any book of poetry that has less of the difficult prose but all the meaning, “Eighteen Years”, by Madisen Kuhn, is the perfect fit. This collection, separated in parts according to season, has been accumulated by Kuhn herself over the course of three years, and finally found its way into the hands of her thousands of followers on social media in late Nov. She gained a large following ever since her poem, “Who Are You, Really?” was posted on Tumblr. Ever since then, her popularity skyrocketed, and now her poems, both old and new, are available through a book rather than a screen.

“ I’m stuck in a swirling vortex of loving you”

It begins with a hopeful introduction, where Madison speaks of her experience with growing up, and how it’s something we should celebrate, not be afraid of. Since her poems are ordered chronologically over the span of three years, it’s easy to see how much she has grown as a writer and a person, which makes her introduction so much more relevant and meaningful. The whole poetry collection feels as if you are experiencing Kuhn’s life right alongside her. The beginning focuses on the positive and negative aspects of love, but fades into heartbreak and conquering fear/anxiety in the end. But her poems typically stick to a certain feel, whether it be blissful love, gruesome pain, aching hearts, or lessons learned. There are even some anecdotes near the end that are more fleshed out and mature than the previous poems. It goes to show that Kuhn’s transition into adulthood is displayed through both her writing and the topics she discusses.

“I wonder if when you see her smile, you think of mine that’s now fading”

One poem in particular that’s a favorite of mine is “déjà vu”, which deals with moving on from a past lover. Just long enough to pack a punch, Kuhn writes lines like “I wonder if when you see her smile, you think of mine that’s now fading” and “ I’m stuck in a swirling vortex of loving you” that left me feeling all types of tragic and melancholic.

Overall, Madisen Kuhn’s words will never fail to impact me in ways I can’t imagine. They hold so much meaning, especially knowing how she pulls moments from her own life to create them.
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