It’s a shame that when poetry has so much power and potential to change and develop its readers both emotionally and intellectually, that so few young people are inclined to read it. I feel blessed to have grown up with parents who loved poetry and encouraged me to develop a strong admiration for it as well. Reading poems and discovering my personal preferences helped me —and continues to help me — shape and nurture my own writing techniques and personal style. Really, all of this is just a big, roundabout way of prefacing my thoughts on one of my very favorite books of poetry, “The Anatomy of Being by Shinji Moon.”
I came across Shinji Moon’s work through her tumblr (now shinji-moon.tumblr.com) sometime last year and I fell in love. Her writing is gentle, yet fierce and strong, and all deeply personal and emotional. Especially impressive is the fact that she’s only 19 years old.
“The Anatomy of Being” is a self-published anthology divided into four sections, beginning with the outer layer — the tangible, the skin — and then moving into the more abstract and indescribable aspects of human existence. Each section begins with a short paragraph introducing what’s to come, describing the continual subtraction of the physical, until the final chapter, where all that is left are the parts of life that cannot be touched, that can only be felt. In one interview last September for NYU, she spoke about the book, saying, “It tunnels from presence to absence, from love to loss ... what I think — what I believe — is that at the end of that tunnel, in the farthest corners of ourselves, there is light, there is hope. That idea has gotten me through a lot of my life, and I wanted to put it into words, in case I could help someone else feel less alone and warmer along the way.”