Some of the poems in The Collection Plate: Poems by Kendra Allen are straight forward, while others have a more poetic way of speaking. Some poems deal with death, some with life, some with God, some with mothers and some all of that and more all at once. The experiences Allen has had in their life as a person of color and just as a person period, is laid out for all the experience along with them.
To say Allen is not an easy read is really an understatement. First, the text can be hard to understand. There is a lot going on and you need to stop and process what you are reading. And of course, the subject itself is difficult. Both aspects can make you uncomfortable and thoughtful. Even the format of the poems themselves can be difficult. They do not always flow “normally” or what we consider “traditional poetry” formatting. Everything is modern from subject to the way the poetry looks.
I would not recommend this collection as one you should start with if you are looking to jump into the poetry pool. And while some high schoolers will be able to understand and/or relate to the words of Allen, this is not for everyone. It is for someone willing to take the time and put some effort into the reading. I was only able to read one or two poems at a time as I needed to digest what was happening. But if you are looking for a collection to read that will give you a new voice dealing with this thing called life, you should give it a looksee.
(Flora as there is a nice big bloom on the persons face).