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I Would Leave Me If I Could: A Collection of Poetry

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Grammy Award–nominated, platinum-selling musician Halsey is heralded as one of the most compelling voices of her generation. In I Would Leave Me If I Could, she reveals never-before-seen poetry of longing, love, and the nuances of bipolar disorder.


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Grammy Award–nominated, platinum-selling musician Halsey is heralded as one of the most compelling voices of her generation. In I Would Leave Me If I Could, she reveals never-before-seen poetry of longing, love, and the nuances of bipolar disorder.

30 review for I Would Leave Me If I Could: A Collection of Poetry

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jack Edwards

    This collection reads as if Halsey sent the first draft to her editors and they just published it without checking what it said

  2. 5 out of 5

    Joel Rochester

    There were some good poems in this, and I do think Halsey shows some skill as a writer! However, I do feel that this did need some more editing and refining when it came to some of her poems — some of her poems tended to continue on when they could've just ended. But nevertheless, it was a great experience to hear her read out her poetry! There were some good poems in this, and I do think Halsey shows some skill as a writer! However, I do feel that this did need some more editing and refining when it came to some of her poems — some of her poems tended to continue on when they could've just ended. But nevertheless, it was a great experience to hear her read out her poetry!

  3. 4 out of 5

    ashleigh

    wowowowow what a stunning collection of poetry. Halsey's ability to capture different emotions, the beautiful and the ugly and the complicated, is masterful. I technically read through this twice, once and then again with the audiobook, marking and underlining with my pen, and tabbing my "favorites" which almost ended up being every other poem. There were lines that stopped me in my tracks because of how clearly I saw my own experiences reflected in her words. I'm so so grateful she gave us these wowowowow what a stunning collection of poetry. Halsey's ability to capture different emotions, the beautiful and the ugly and the complicated, is masterful. I technically read through this twice, once and then again with the audiobook, marking and underlining with my pen, and tabbing my "favorites" which almost ended up being every other poem. There were lines that stopped me in my tracks because of how clearly I saw my own experiences reflected in her words. I'm so so grateful she gave us these pieces of herself. before reading: if i stan anyone it’s halsey she’s posted snippets of poetry before and her lyrics are *chef’s kiss* so i know this’ll be good.

  4. 4 out of 5

    April (Aprilius Maximus)

    "LISTEN And then yell at the top of your lungs. Be a voice for all those who have prisoner tongues, for the people who had to grow up way too young, there is work to be done, there are songs to be sung, Lord knows there's a war to be won." representation: Black author. [trigger warnings are listed at the bottom of this review and may contain spoilers] ★★★★ NOW THIS IS HOW YOU WRITE POETRY. none of those simple sentences broken up by hitting the space bar. These were COMPLEX with their structure and wordpla "LISTEN And then yell at the top of your lungs. Be a voice for all those who have prisoner tongues, for the people who had to grow up way too young, there is work to be done, there are songs to be sung, Lord knows there's a war to be won." representation: Black author. [trigger warnings are listed at the bottom of this review and may contain spoilers] ★★★★ NOW THIS IS HOW YOU WRITE POETRY. none of those simple sentences broken up by hitting the space bar. These were COMPLEX with their structure and wordplay. This was probably the best poetry collection I've read (and I'm not a poetry fan to begin with!). trigger warnings: rape and sexual abuse, drugs, abusive relationships, miscarriage.

  5. 5 out of 5

    savannah

    halsey is a great songwriter, but she is no poet. these were just painfully amateur :( it makes me wonder if she even reads poetry on her own because this is how i wrote before i started reading poetry regularly and actually became acquainted with the art. these read more like diary entries that she split apart randomly--the form was just so clumsy. also maybe i am hypercritical but don’t. do. this. when. you. want. to. emphasize. something. it has the opposite effect, at least for me. she obvio halsey is a great songwriter, but she is no poet. these were just painfully amateur :( it makes me wonder if she even reads poetry on her own because this is how i wrote before i started reading poetry regularly and actually became acquainted with the art. these read more like diary entries that she split apart randomly--the form was just so clumsy. also maybe i am hypercritical but don’t. do. this. when. you. want. to. emphasize. something. it has the opposite effect, at least for me. she obviously has some handle on language (that’s why i love her music!), but she definitely needed more practice. i would not have published this. i also don’t enjoy self-loathing poetry much anymore, so that could have contributed to why i didn’t like this. BUT i still know how to recognize when a poem is well-constructed and well-written, even when i dislike the subject matter. these poems were sadly neither.

  6. 4 out of 5

    ♠ TABI⁷ ♠

    I've been kinda in awe of Halsey for years now so of course I'm gonna read this ALSO I JUST REALIZED WE'RE THE SAME AGE OR SHE'S YOUNGER SO UHHHHHHHH idk why it always weirds me out when someone I admire and respect as an artist is LITERALLY my age ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I've been kinda in awe of Halsey for years now so of course I'm gonna read this ALSO I JUST REALIZED WE'RE THE SAME AGE OR SHE'S YOUNGER SO UHHHHHHHH idk why it always weirds me out when someone I admire and respect as an artist is LITERALLY my age ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  7. 4 out of 5

    anna

    BITCH if u didn't know, halsey is my favorite human on this entire planet and I admire her writing so so much. I am beyond excited for this! nov 8 2020 as amazing as expected. rtc BITCH if u didn't know, halsey is my favorite human on this entire planet and I admire her writing so so much. I am beyond excited for this! nov 8 2020 as amazing as expected. rtc

  8. 4 out of 5

    Amber

    i love halsey and was excited to see she was releasing a poetry collection. and i enjoyed it! gonna list out some positives and negatives: positives: - you can tell she is a songwriter by her use of rhyme scheme and rhythm - she was able to explore a variety of themes in a sensitive way - i liked that this was confessional whilst also reminding me a lot of beat poetry! negatives: - repetitive at times - the work did fall into cliche quite a bit - i think many works could have done with more editing. som i love halsey and was excited to see she was releasing a poetry collection. and i enjoyed it! gonna list out some positives and negatives: positives: - you can tell she is a songwriter by her use of rhyme scheme and rhythm - she was able to explore a variety of themes in a sensitive way - i liked that this was confessional whilst also reminding me a lot of beat poetry! negatives: - repetitive at times - the work did fall into cliche quite a bit - i think many works could have done with more editing. some poems felt like maybe they should have been expanded into essays/short stories cos they didn't really work as poems. many of the poems here seem to arbitrarily structured (which i know is a trend in free verse poetry) but they maybe could have been turned into prose poetry cos it felt they were being spaced that way to make the book reach a certain number of pages

  9. 5 out of 5

    Steph

    This is to remind you that you are a lover. That you melt at a glance at a touch. That you are a baby. You are soft and fragile and you need someone to tell you that everything is going to be okay. That you are an idiot and you are going to fuck up 1 million more times the rest of your life. But this is to remind you that you are a statue, gilded in marble, and there is white lightning in your eyes. Change shape. Give in. (from "something for them") i think this is the most lyrical and clever poetry collect This is to remind you that you are a lover. That you melt at a glance at a touch. That you are a baby. You are soft and fragile and you need someone to tell you that everything is going to be okay. That you are an idiot and you are going to fuck up 1 million more times the rest of your life. But this is to remind you that you are a statue, gilded in marble, and there is white lightning in your eyes. Change shape. Give in. (from "something for them") i think this is the most lyrical and clever poetry collection i've read thus far. many of the poems could double as songs. i'm not as big of a halsey fan as i'd like to be (sometimes her voice bugs me), but i was happy to be able to enjoy this collection! it's occasionally cliché, but most of it is beautifully written and intensely resonant.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lea M

    I love Halsey's music. But this poetry was...not good. It felt like unedited Tumblr posts or journal entries formatted to just look like poetry. It didn't work for me. I love Halsey's music. But this poetry was...not good. It felt like unedited Tumblr posts or journal entries formatted to just look like poetry. It didn't work for me.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Noura Khalid (theperksofbeingnoura)

    Halsey has been one of my favorite artists for a while now. I can't explain how happy I am to have been given the chance to read and review this. This collection brings so much of Halsey's experiences to readers. I will admit that some of these were hard to read as they explore some heavy topics (something to keep in mind). If you love her music and are looking for more then these words are definitely what you should read. I enjoyed a lot of these and there were some poems that gave me goosebump Halsey has been one of my favorite artists for a while now. I can't explain how happy I am to have been given the chance to read and review this. This collection brings so much of Halsey's experiences to readers. I will admit that some of these were hard to read as they explore some heavy topics (something to keep in mind). If you love her music and are looking for more then these words are definitely what you should read. I enjoyed a lot of these and there were some poems that gave me goosebumps and I needed to take a moment to think. So grateful to Simon & Schuster for the gifted review copy!

  12. 4 out of 5

    steph⁷

    I'm going to be very blunt: This tried to put its heart on its sleeve, its mind negotiated that sprinklings of truth were enough to make even the most faithless man regain sight. In the end, however, what is left when the illusion crumbles? That's what I ask myself when reading poetry because I do write poetry, mostly as a hobby and if there's one thing I've learnt, it's that you must be willing to line every inch of wording with honesty. How else is connection formed? Certainly not through the I'm going to be very blunt: This tried to put its heart on its sleeve, its mind negotiated that sprinklings of truth were enough to make even the most faithless man regain sight. In the end, however, what is left when the illusion crumbles? That's what I ask myself when reading poetry because I do write poetry, mostly as a hobby and if there's one thing I've learnt, it's that you must be willing to line every inch of wording with honesty. How else is connection formed? Certainly not through the partaking of quirky phrases and try hard manifestations. Anyway, all this is to say that Halsey is great as a musician and she should work with that. Yeah.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Katherine

    This was excellent. Singers writing poetry just makes sense. Halsey gets it 🍂🍃🌿

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Kovatch

    When all your lovers start to die. You wake alone and wonder why they left you here to document the wreckage. Halsey's I Would Leave Me If I Could is a relentless, gripping collection of poetry. It lives and breathes and chokes and heaves every sky-high and sinister fume of life. Her capacity to observe, imagine, and portray is something remarkable. It's also an excellent complement to her discography. Several of the poems draw parallels to or directly inspire some of the lyrics in Halsey's music, whic When all your lovers start to die. You wake alone and wonder why they left you here to document the wreckage. Halsey's I Would Leave Me If I Could is a relentless, gripping collection of poetry. It lives and breathes and chokes and heaves every sky-high and sinister fume of life. Her capacity to observe, imagine, and portray is something remarkable. It's also an excellent complement to her discography. Several of the poems draw parallels to or directly inspire some of the lyrics in Halsey's music, which is always fascinating to see. There's even some Badlands-era material! Content warning: there are stories in here directly depicting and/or implicating rape and abuse. Her unabashedness makes for incredibly compelling pieces, but also some particular parts that may be difficult for some readers. Be wary of these.

  15. 5 out of 5

    persephone ☾

    the imagery was captivating, the writing incredibly vivid but the poems were a little too repetitive at times.

  16. 5 out of 5

    ainsley

    3.65 stars- edited. A preface: I do adore Halsey. I have loved her faithfully since Badlands, and for the most part, am largely supportive of everything that she does. Sometimes to a slightly delusional extent. Segueing to my next point, my previous review was very generous. Upon re-reading, I have some edits to make. I am still a touch biased, but now I have gone through both a poetry class and creative writing class and am at least somewhat qualified, so here we go. So, The Good. I loved the em 3.65 stars- edited. A preface: I do adore Halsey. I have loved her faithfully since Badlands, and for the most part, am largely supportive of everything that she does. Sometimes to a slightly delusional extent. Segueing to my next point, my previous review was very generous. Upon re-reading, I have some edits to make. I am still a touch biased, but now I have gone through both a poetry class and creative writing class and am at least somewhat qualified, so here we go. So, The Good. I loved the emotional weight of her poetry, and the images she created. The gritty-americana, sweaty-summer in L.A vibes are right up my alley, that juxtaposition of beauty and violence in mundanity. I thought that her craft was strong- her technique was pretty good, there was a clear voice and purpose, and the style was quite interesting, probably honed by her songwriting. The stories she told I really enjoyed, and her exploration of trauma and love and loss and feminism were really fascinating. There were some really strong poems in there- "Everything", "Fun Girl" and "Powerless" were standouts for me. In short, I think her intention was strong, but her execution was not all-the-way-there yet. Now, transitioning to The Not-As-Good. My main issue with this is that I don't think that it was edited enough. At least 1/3 of these poems did not need to be in here- they were either not contributing enough, or needed to be run through the workshop a couple more times. This main issue branched out in a couple of ways- firstly, I found that images were getting repeated, and I was starting to lose interest at the end. Watermelons came up quite a bit, and so did Chelsea smiles- those were both very unique and poignant images the first time but they lost their weight after they were repeated multiple times. A few of the poems in general were quite repetitive, and it just took their impact away. In a couple of places, the poems were also leaning into abstractions and cliches. I think that for a first try, this was not bad, but it definitely needed a few more runs through the workshop.

  17. 5 out of 5

    aLirEza nEjaTi

    What will be left when I have broken all of my favorite things? When the glue of sweet apologies and bat eyelashes no longer repairs them? What will be left when I have shattered it all? Carelessly, it will evade my grasp. And I will have nothing

  18. 5 out of 5

    ivy

    three important notes: 1) three stars is not a bad rating 2) halsey is one of my favorite artists, and my top spotify artists for at least two years in a row 3) just because you can relate to a poem's content, it doesn't mean it's a good poem i felt like a could relate to so many individual lines of these poems, yet i really struggled to like the poems in their entirety it really felt to me like she kept running in circles, reusing the same imagery and the same metaphors -- and it could have felt l three important notes: 1) three stars is not a bad rating 2) halsey is one of my favorite artists, and my top spotify artists for at least two years in a row 3) just because you can relate to a poem's content, it doesn't mean it's a good poem i felt like a could relate to so many individual lines of these poems, yet i really struggled to like the poems in their entirety it really felt to me like she kept running in circles, reusing the same imagery and the same metaphors -- and it could have felt like it was a sort of a theme, or like binding the poems together, but overall it just felt incoherent to me. halsey is a wonderful lyricist, and i love her music precisely because i can relate to so many of her lyrics, but this just didn't feel good enough. i felt particularly cheated when i found song lyrics in some of the poems -- it felt like cheating to me, somehow i know this is not a very coherent review, but i'm just mostly disappointed with this collection of poems. it was really raw, both in terms of how much of herself halsey exposed, but also as in, unpolished and unfinished. i am a big believer in form and content, and while i liked a lot of the content, there was just no form to it. take cummings, for example, who doesn't have evident structure to his poems, but there he is still trying to say something with the way the poems are structured. there was none of that here. some of this felt so close to me, it's like i wrote it, but it still wasn't enough for me.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Alyssa Thomas

    Beautiful cover! Can't wait to see this book on my shelf. Beautiful cover! Can't wait to see this book on my shelf.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jennie Damron

    I adore Halsey and her music. I listen to her music and soothes me. I actually have her album Hopeless Fountain Kingdom playing on repeat in my car. It's the soundtrack to what I am going through right now. My daughter bought me this book of Halsey's poetry as a surprise knowing I am a huge fan. I was so excited to read it because I love her songs. Her poems are just as good. So raw, so gritty. She does not mince her words. She has hurt, been hurt been abused, and has fought and cried. Some of t I adore Halsey and her music. I listen to her music and soothes me. I actually have her album Hopeless Fountain Kingdom playing on repeat in my car. It's the soundtrack to what I am going through right now. My daughter bought me this book of Halsey's poetry as a surprise knowing I am a huge fan. I was so excited to read it because I love her songs. Her poems are just as good. So raw, so gritty. She does not mince her words. She has hurt, been hurt been abused, and has fought and cried. Some of the poems made me want to take a shower and some of the poems made me want to hug her and tell her I won't let anyone hurt you anymore. Halsey truly has a gift with words and I am so glad she has gifted the world with her talent.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Abrudan Andi

    I WOULD give this book more than 5 stars IF I COULD. i feel like there's no rating that could capture how much i really loved this. i was excited for this from the first moment that i've seen it and i had a pretty valid reason i would say: because this was PERFECT. i can't find any bad thing about it nor i will try to because there isn't. i've learned in my literature class this semester that poetry was known as a "spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings" and this book feels EXACTLY like this. I WOULD give this book more than 5 stars IF I COULD. i feel like there's no rating that could capture how much i really loved this. i was excited for this from the first moment that i've seen it and i had a pretty valid reason i would say: because this was PERFECT. i can't find any bad thing about it nor i will try to because there isn't. i've learned in my literature class this semester that poetry was known as a "spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings" and this book feels EXACTLY like this. Halsey's style of writing poetry is this beautiful stream of consciousness, a very confessional style, that feels more like a putting-your-thoughts-on-paper kind of writing than actual poetry writing and i think this is better than anything because it just shows how raw and honest she can be. this book is addicting, i said that i'm gonna take it slow and i found myself reading 50 pages in the first day and then finishing it 3 days later (i am still coming back to it everyday tho) because i couldn't stop. i love all the themes she writes about and i loved the fact that she let us in with this one and i feel like i got to know so many personal aspects of her life and somehow i am closer to Ashley now, rather than Halsey. such an amazing read, i recommend this to everyone.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jenny (Reading Envy)

    I poked around Libby and Hoopla to see which new poetry collections were available to me through my library and found both Halsey and Lana Del Rey (which I will read soon.) I like the idea of singer-songwriters publishing poetry, after all what is a song but a poem. So even though I wouldn't say I'm Halsey's #1 fan, I was interested in seeing her work. Remember LiveJournal? I just kept thinking of the unfiltered bare-your-soul nature of that space and that is what comes across here. And while som I poked around Libby and Hoopla to see which new poetry collections were available to me through my library and found both Halsey and Lana Del Rey (which I will read soon.) I like the idea of singer-songwriters publishing poetry, after all what is a song but a poem. So even though I wouldn't say I'm Halsey's #1 fan, I was interested in seeing her work. Remember LiveJournal? I just kept thinking of the unfiltered bare-your-soul nature of that space and that is what comes across here. And while some of it might be poetic, it's more emotional, and it has the feeling of not being revised much if at all. (That could be her style and intentional; I found it hard to tell.) This is the kind of poetry people write in the dark to work through relationships and dark times. One theme I found interesting is how much a famous person can struggle to be seen, and valued, by individuals in their lives.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Carlton

    I've always loved Halsey for her lyrics and was ecstatic to hear her announce this book of poetry. As a fan of her music, I was able to find pieces of songs in her poems. Some stanzas held familiar melodies but had endings with a twist. (What came first, the poem or the music?) One thing I've always loved about Halsey is that she's an open book. So many fans, myself included, have healed though her writing and this book is no exception. I admire her vulnerability, her bravery and her talent. This I've always loved Halsey for her lyrics and was ecstatic to hear her announce this book of poetry. As a fan of her music, I was able to find pieces of songs in her poems. Some stanzas held familiar melodies but had endings with a twist. (What came first, the poem or the music?) One thing I've always loved about Halsey is that she's an open book. So many fans, myself included, have healed though her writing and this book is no exception. I admire her vulnerability, her bravery and her talent. This collection of poetry is beautiful and diverse. From short lines that rhyme, to longer form prose, each word melts into your brain in the best way. Everyone can find a pice of themselves somewhere between these pages. All of that to say, I love this book very much and hope there's a sequel someday!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Tara

    "i feel like i'm made of plastic i breathe and it doesn't reach my lungs i eat and i don't taste i cry and there's no burn in my nose anymore." je l'aime je l'aime je l'aime "i feel like i'm made of plastic i breathe and it doesn't reach my lungs i eat and i don't taste i cry and there's no burn in my nose anymore." je l'aime je l'aime je l'aime

  25. 4 out of 5

    Morgane Moncomble

    I just love this woman so damn much.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Tanja ☾

    “I see all things in this world as more beautiful than I, and I spin the details of their atoms in every paragraph and brushstroke.” This collection of poetry is a little bit of a disappointment. Halsey is a great songwriter but not a poet. The poems are repetitive and it feels like this collection wasn’t even edited. 3 stars

  27. 5 out of 5

    nikita

    Finally, Halsey is displaying her writing skills in a more broader way that reveals more hidden pieces of her real intriguing personality. Hearing her debut poetry book coming out I was out of my skin bouncing off the walls. Needless to say, I’m a huge fan of her music and it doesn’t affect the way I review her work. For unknown reasons to me, I’ve always related to her personally and to her music, that’s what drew me in. It seems that we have similar lens through which we view the world. I gues Finally, Halsey is displaying her writing skills in a more broader way that reveals more hidden pieces of her real intriguing personality. Hearing her debut poetry book coming out I was out of my skin bouncing off the walls. Needless to say, I’m a huge fan of her music and it doesn’t affect the way I review her work. For unknown reasons to me, I’ve always related to her personally and to her music, that’s what drew me in. It seems that we have similar lens through which we view the world. I guess all who went through depression understand that. All love poems aside, I was astonished with themes and chosen topics. Pleasantly astonished. Some of her poems heartbreaking, some of them sarcastic and funny. Some of them haunting. Just like her music, but more intimate. I revel in fact that she included some of the poems that were turned into songs. Devil In Me still hits hard 💔 All in all, I absolutely enjoyed the time spent on devouring this little piece of her soul. Waiting for more though... 👀

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mery ✨

    4/5 Every time a YouTuber or a singer or even an actor is publishing a book I'm always intrigued because I want to know how they think. Halsey aka Ashley is one of my favorites. She is always trying to make the world better by helping others and speak her voice and that's exactly what I got from this extraordinary poetry. Halsey bared her soul. “You're ripped at every edge but you're a masterpiece.” Halsey’s poems delve into the highs and lows of doomed relationships, family ties, sexuality, and m 4/5 Every time a YouTuber or a singer or even an actor is publishing a book I'm always intrigued because I want to know how they think. Halsey aka Ashley is one of my favorites. She is always trying to make the world better by helping others and speak her voice and that's exactly what I got from this extraordinary poetry. Halsey bared her soul. “You're ripped at every edge but you're a masterpiece.” Halsey’s poems delve into the highs and lows of doomed relationships, family ties, sexuality, and mental illness. More hand grenades than confessions, these autobiographical poems explore and dismantle conventional notions of what it means to be a feminist in search of power. Her art on the book is worth the book alone. It screams for images! “You were red, and you liked me because I was blue, but you touched me and suddenly I was a lilac sky, and you decided purple just wasn't for you.” I Would Leave Me If I Could is raw, passionate, and profound, and signals the arrival of an essential voice.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Erica

    First off you should definitely buy the target edition because it is beautiful. I adore Halsey and everything she stands for. This collection was beautiful and raw, she really put it all on the table. I loved that she had some of her some lyrics in here. She uses a lot of poetic metaphors and I really enjoyed that. My favorite poem was the one that she actually read at the Woman’s March it makes me cry every time I read/see it.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    She just knows how to punch me in the gut with her words.

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