So here is a short anecdote before I start my review and how I ended up buying “Loving Her”. In late February, my bank was merging with another bank and the bank had issued me a new debit card but I was confused as to when it would be active. I was still using my old debit card and wanted to check if it was still working and of course decided to buy something off Amazon to do it. I already had “Loving Her” on my Wishlist and in true BPD impulsivity I bought it within a few minutes. I didn’t read the reviews or much about it. I just knew it was a poetry book about love and that seemed like a good reason to buy it. And after reading it, I can say that this is one of those times my BPD impulsivity really worked for me because I really enjoyed this book.
Timothy Robare’s Poetry collection “ Loving Her” really resonated with me in various ways . When I first started reading this book, I thought wow, the next guy I get serious about is getting a copy of this book to understand how a woman wants to be loved. Dudes ,take my advice, if you want to understand women, pick up this book and read it. . What I loved about this book is how Robare offers a unique and raw openness by sharing his experiences with love in this book. He reveals a complicated story of the turmoil and miracle that love can be and feel like. Reading this felt like reading a journal filled with Robare’s most private and intimate thoughts about love. This book is divided into 6 sections which are: “How I Want to Love Her”, “How I Do Love Her”, “How I Cannot Love Her”, “How I Did Love Her”, “How I Learned to Love Her”, and “Elizabeth”. I will talk about a poem or 2 poems from each section that really impacted me.
The first section “How I Want to Love Her” is exactly what the title of the section implies. Reading the poetry from this section made me think, “Hmm, I want to be loved like that.” One poem that really spoke to me was Curves and Crashes because of how Robare expresses his feelings for his partner in a way that made my jaded black heart almost melt. This is presented in the lines “She is not perfect, I never wanted perfect/I only want all that she is” (Robare) really shocked me because I thought “Damn, that there are men in this day and age who can express their feelings for their partners in such a beautiful way”.
In the second section, “How I Do Love Her”, Robare covers poetry about conflicting feelings about love. A poem that resonated with me was Carver-Robare speaks with passion about the juxtaposition of feelings love can bring. This is shown with the first few lines “She cuts smiles into my face/Carves sorrow into my heart/ Love is death” (Robare). I relate to the anxiety I have felt when my partner brought me love along with pain. It’s a complicated and uneasy emotion to deal with but Robare presents this feeling in an accurate way. Another poem I related to in this section is Jealous . This poem talks about the powerful and intense feelings that jealousy can bring. This is presented in the lines- “He looks at her/I want to vaporize him” (Robare). Oh man, I’ve felt that many times in relationships. It could be an unhealthy way to be possessive over someone but it’s just how it is or has been for some of us.
In the third section “How I Cannot Love Her” deals with anxiety and conflict felt during a relationship. The poem that I related to was Lightning Crashes. It that talks about how chemistry can come into play when resolving a conflict. This is shown in the lines, “Tears fell down like lightning/ Apologies constantly following thunder/Lips struck like matches/ catching my heart on fire/every time” (Robare). This reminded me of being with one particular partner who I would constantly fight with. I would get so mad at him that I wanted to punch him but then he would kiss me and well the fight would stop. With him, it was like one touch on my hand or a kiss and I was breathless with desire. Robare did an outstanding job presenting this sentiment. Another poem I liked from this section was Run. It’s a poem about the anxiety you have when you don’t feel good enough for your partner. This is presented in the lines “I need to run/ So I don’t hurt her, Don’t let her down/That’s what I’m good at after all” (Robare). There have been so many times I’ve had this feeling in relationships and I asked myself questions or had thoughts like “What does he see in me?”, “ I don’t deserve someone as good as him” and “How long will it be before he leaves me?” It’s a dark and scary place to be and Robare expresses this in a very honest and vulnerable way.
The fourth section “How I did love her” talks more of the complexities of love. I love the poem Whole Eyes because it shows how spell binding falling in love can feel like. The lines “Her damn mesmerizing eyes/For once I felt home/ the home I’ve always craved” (Robare). When I fall in love, that’s how it feels like for me, that person feels like a home I want to forever reside in. It’s a lovely feeling to feel like you have someone to call home. The other poem from this section that I liked was Broken Bones because of the raw and intense way Robare explained the pain of a breakup with the lines “She reached in me/Somewhere I can’t explain/ pull something out/ with a catastrophic pain” (Robare) It’s a feeling I know too well. A breakup to me feels like a pain so terrible , it’s a catastrophe in my world. I admire Robare for not shying away from talking about the intensity of grief that is felt because of a breakup.
The fifth section, “How she taught me to love” presents the positive side of love. I like the poem Unwavering because it talks about a “secure kind of love”. The lines “She began to build me up/Higher than I had ever risen”. It’s incredible how the right partner can build you in a way that ‘s empowering. Another poem I loved from this section was Extinction which presents how wonderful love can be. The lines “I know we aren’t perfect, not even close/ But it is a small glimpse of perfection” (Robare) Being with a good partner can feel like that. The world falls away while you’re consumed by making this perfect memory of love with them. It’s an invigorating and powerful feeling of euphoria.
The sixth section “Elizabeth” is dedicated to his latest breakup and wow this chapter really resonated with me. I could write about how I related to each poem but I won’t do that to y ’all. Instead I’ll write about the two poems that really spoke to me. The poem Late Nights really resonated with me, especially the lines “I wonder how it was so easy, how you did it so quickly/I am in a million pieces, which ones first, how do I pick” (Robare) When I go through the grief on a breakup, I think I’m the only one that feels pain and hurt and assume that for them, it was easy to break things off and walk away unscathed. And I’m left shattered and I’m angry. I remember thinking at one time that I was over dramatic saying one ex left me shattered in a million pieces but now I think it was an accurate description to how I felt at the time. Another poem I liked was Best. The poem is about wanting to always be there for your ex. I give Robare a lot of credit for having the maturity do this. The lines , “ I am always here, if you ever needed anything because forever is what I meant” (Robare) . It’s admirable that he can do this because I honestly can’t. It would be nice if I could but I lack the emotional maturity to do so. This is also a beautiful poem because of how Elizabeth’s humanity is conveyed in a way that respects her. I also want to add that reading this section added an element of healing to my life. It shifted my perspective a bit on some past trauma from past romantic relationships.
What I also found refreshing about this book is that while there were lots of raw emotions to be felt I really didn’t find him blaming any of his exes. In fact, I hold Robare in high esteem with how he expressed his accountability for his actions and how he really respected the humanity of his past partners throughout the book even when he was talking about something really painful. There is hardly any saltiness to be found anywhere in this book, for that you can just read my blog. Lol. Seriously, reading Robare’s poetry inspired me to change my direction a bit in how I write about love. I’m not going to drastically change how I write but I could do better in shifting my perspective a bit and instead of constantly writing about how love is shit, I could write more about how love can be a good thing. I also think Robare is very talented for putting into words what many of us are too scared to express. He’s brave for that. I also want to thank Tim Robare for writing this book and publishing it because it almost felt like serendipity for me to buy it and read it at the time that I did. And of course, I highly recommend this book if you like poetry that speaks to your heart. Below is the link for Loving Her:
Loving Her by Timothy Robare