REVIEW | I'll Fly Away by Rudy Francisco

"I tell myself that every hour is happy hour, as long as I am on this side of the ground..."


If you are among those of us who believe books find us at just the right time, believe me when I say I'll Fly Away by Rudy Francisco found me and entranced me at a most convenient time. 

I'll Fly Away Rudy Francisco

I am no stranger to Francisco's work. In fact, I've been following him for quite some time. Becoming a fan after finding his spoken word poetry on YouTube, then connecting so deeply with his collection, Helium, I could not wait to devour I'll Fly Away. Digesting this book of poetry did come with a price, however. You will feel the words in your chest long after the read is over.

I was intrigued by the unique format of this book. On one hand, the poems are introduced by words not recognized by the English language. On the other, there are erasures of popular songs intermingled throughout. It made me think of all the emotions we carry within us that we don't have the language to articulate. 

Just as I'm introduced to the theme of death in the English translations of words I've never seen, references of Nipsey Hussle emerge. Before long, tears are flowing. I mourn people I never met that I somehow feel attached to. I grieve a failed marriage between the author's parents because being in close proximity to someone, yet still 1,000 miles away, is too relatable. It's safe to say I'll Fly Away excels in lending words to feelings of despair and sadness unlike any other book of modern poetry I've read so far. 

Spanning topics of racism, police brutality, loss, and eventually hope, I'll Fly Away is a lesson on transparency. He admits he's not okay, even though his words and fake smiles convince onlookers otherwise. He confides the angst he felt when his high school crush entered the room in 1999, and regrets not approaching her years later.  And while Francisco bares his feelings of sadness, he is still hopeful for better days ahead. 

I recommend this book to any lover of poetry. Hopefully this book will choose you at the right time, just as it chose me. I would, however, like to offer a trigger warning. Reading while depressed can be tricky. Either you will be comforted or triggered, depending on your journey. Take care of yourself and prepare accordingly.

Major thanks to Netgalley and Button Poetry for the ARC of I'll Fly Away in exchange for an honest review.

⭐⭐⭐⭐ ğŸŒŸ (4.5 Stars)

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