Written by Addie Van Rijn
When Kayley and I first started brainstorming for the Poetry Capsule Collection, I could barely take a breath before yelling out "TYLER KNOTT GREGSON!" as my number one choice for poets to collaborate with. In short I think he's just the coolest - I own his books and I've been known to go on a rant or two about how he is the voice of our generation. I am not exaggerating when I say that I jumped up and down when the collaboration was confirmed and got teary-eyed when the samples came in the mail.
In addition to being my favourite modern day poet, Tyler is also an author, a photographer and a practicing Buddhist. He is well known for his typewriter series, which he shares in his first book Chasers of Light as well as his completely swoon-worthy haikus on love which he shares in his second book All The Words Are Yours. His third book just came out this past March and is the only one I have yet to get my hands on! You can find all his books here
If I wasn't already over the moon about this Tyler Knott collab, one of my very favourite poems was made into one of our Poetry Capsule Collection tees.
What I love most about haikus is their ability to say so much with so little. It makes how you relate to them seem that much more intimate. Once in a while I read a haiku that sort of feels like it punched me in the stomach with accuracy. I went through a period of depression this past winter and as fate would have it I stumbled upon this very haiku in the midst of it. One of the most frustrating things about going through a mental health struggle is the feeling like you aren't doing enough to help yourself out of what you're going through. "I hope you know how very hard I am trying to ease this aching" struck me as a very loving ode to this experience. It is the worded version of a pat on the back to oneself and it's the thank you card to those who are there for you when you need them the most. I love that the tee was printed in bright white capitalized letters and repeated because it reads almost as a chant or a protest. There is an aspect of rebellion and confidence in the statement and I am just so tickled by how perfectly this design is coupled with the poem's message.
The second tee in Tyler's Poetry Capsule Collection is the "Vulnerability" tee. It reads "I wonder if love is the constant rotation of vulnerability?" and is based off of poem #89 in his typewriter series. Naturally this one is written in a typewriter font and if the aching tee was a chant this one is a soft whisper. The words flow like leaves in the wind across the tee which makes you read it a little bit slower.
If I have learned one thing from my past year at Wear Your Label it is the benefits of being vulnerable. If you told me just a few years ago that such a huge part of my job involved me talking about my mental health struggles I would have laughed out loud. Avoiding being vulnerable is exhausting and can be at times, crippling. Accepting yourself, flaws and all can be so difficult to do, but I think vulnerability is an essential part of the journey that is self-love. It teaches us to find beauty in the things we once thought ugly in ourselves and what could be a truer definition of love than that? I think everyone who has struggles with mental health or self-esteem can find comfort in this poem and I think it fits so perfectly in the Poetry Capsule Collection.
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