Lang Leav is one of the most read, and widely acclaimed contemporary poets and authors. She has an immense Instagram following of 545k and is the author of seven poetry books and two novels. Her newest poetry collection, September Love, is a collection of one hundred and five poems written in a touching style which millennials, Generation Z can relate to. The Foreword is by Lili Reinhart, the American actress best known for her role as Betty Cooper in Riverdale and also the author of Swimming Lessons.
Lili Reinhart says in the foreword that when she was sixteen, she used to scour Tumblr, the famous site for image sharing, to find Lang Leav's poems. Reinhart talks about how she was a fan of Lang Leav and how the poems almost projected her emotions. The audience who are used to scrolling on Tumblr, Instagram and other Social media platforms looking for inspirations and poems can easily relate to what Reinhart talks about.
Lang's poems are never long and have an easy read flow. At the same time, her poems have this profound effect; only people with the emotional attachment to their work can do. Her poems are personal and show universal emotions of self-love, relationships, life, judgement and even helplessness.
The book starts with a poem of the same name September Love.
"How many years must we put between us to prove we are no longer in love? How many summers and Septembers, distractions and chance meetings, remnants of our sad, hopeful love in another look, an all too familiar gesture--" (Leav, page 9)
The poet might have drawn imagination from her own life but what readers find is the connection with the poet's life to theirs. Her words put an image on the paper, creating what many people have felt at a time of their lives. Of course, the book is not all about love or estrangement. In Dear February she ponders over how the month might be either good or bad for her while describing a beautiful scene in nature where one can imagine themselves being pulled in.
"Tall trees and dappled light on the city pavement shifting under my feet, skirting the cracks, I think of my mother and what she lost one February, and there are things you know about me that I don't want her to know. Is my secret safe with you, dear February?" (Leav, page 12)
Sometimes she changes her poems from a whole page to just one sentence, and it proves satisfying to the reader to see not a monotonous set of poems. A lot of her poems deal with writing and criticism.
In To Past Generations, she talks about how older generations put a threshold on the newer ones and have unrealistic expectations- "Our generation blooms in the era of eyes and judgment. Where our mistakes are timestamped; our broken hearts livestreamed. But does this give you a right to throw stones at us?" (Leav, page 47). Leav's poems sometimes change to conversational style similar to a poetry slam. In Path (Leav, page 64) Of a Writer Written (Leav, 104) shows her emergence and life as a writer, the criticism she has faced and encourages aspiring writers.
The last poem is titled December - "It is only the year that is ending. So why does it feel like the world is?" (Leav, page 121) - is quite ideal as in the current world we are helpless to our circumstances. We realise at a point we don't know what will happen.
In the foreword, Lily Reinhart writes of her introduction to Lang Leav's poetry and to those who have followed her from the beginning of her journey can see the immense transformation as a writer and poet. In 2020 Lang Leav and her close ones have gone through life with the Pandemic like many of us. We are going to the circumstances of losing, helplessness and chaos, which is apparent in our lives regardless of where we are. The set of poems and their order in the book gives that emotion to the reader.
Released in November 2020, September Love is the latest addition to the growing poetry collection of Lang Leav, The Author of Lullabies, Love and Misadventures and her recent two novels Poemsia and Sad Girls. Leav's signature features are always apparent in her books, her novels don't lack her poetic style. Just like that, the poems in September Love show her signature style, and each one delivers her crisp message words. Her lyrical poems are simple, uncomplicated yet powerful. This perfect balance between the richness of her poetry in simple words has led Leav to be one of the most popular contemporary poets.