Beautifully illustrated feminist retellings of the great mythical goddesses.
Empowering life lessons from myths and monsters. Wonder at Medusa’s potent venom, Circe’s fierce sorcery and Athena rising up over Olympus, as Nikita Gill majestically explores the untold stories of the life bringers, warriors, creators, survivors and destroyers that shook the world – the great Greek Goddesses.
Vividly re-imagined and beautifully illustrated, step into an ancient world transformed by modern feminist magic.
‘I watch Girl become Goddess
and the metamorphosis is more
magnificent than anything
I have ever known.’
Great Goddesses is a collection of poems inspired by greek goddesses and deities — their hardships, their strengths, their determination and the lessons they faced that women today can learn from.
This collection includes over 90 poems from Nikita Gill, all keeping the focus on women and their strengths and their value. Some of the poems touch on mythical tales that the reader will recognise, and some feel a lot more modern and unique, and unknown.
Scattered throughout the book are full-page black and white illustrations to accompany some of the poems. The drawings are beautiful — emotive, visual and an additional element to draw in the reader and keep them engaged. I always love a book that incorporates hand-drawn elements, it makes the reading experience feel more authentic.
“Centuries later, I will lose my son to Troy. In a battlefield scorched in crimson and steel, I will lift his lifeless body and hold him close, tears blurring my vision. He isn’t even a man yet, I will whisper, smoothing his hairless face with the same fingers I once used to smooth his father’s brow.”
Nikita’s poems draw inspiration from ancient greek myths and legends, but present them with a new feminist twist — she focuses the lens on the strengths of women and their achievements. The women in the poems include ancient legends such as Medusa, Iphigenia and Briseis, unknown to some readers no longer.
Some of my favourite poems are the ones towards the end of the book — the ones that resonate more with modern society and with my own experiences. They’re empowering and motivating, and inspiring. I feel drawn to these poems, and I find myself rereading them to savour the messages behind them.
“Maybe that’s why you demonised them,
turned them into monsters.
because you think monsters are easier
to understand than women who say no to you.”
I’m no expert in poetry, but I didn’t feel like the poems in this collection worked collectively. The stories jump around a lot, jolting the reading. The syntax doesn’t quite flow, sometimes the vocabulary is a little off the intended meaning, and overall, I just didn’t find myself lost in the writing. I just like like I was reading it for the sake of reading, rather than really enjoying the experience.
There were only a couple of poems that I really fell in love with, and the others? Well, I didn’t really feel like I was learning enough from them. Some of them were a bit vague, and some were very detailed but without that real theme at their core to drive home to the reader.
how you are still valid,
despite his best attempts
at your ruin.”
Women will enjoy this read more than men, but that doesn’t mean men shouldn’t read this. The poems showcase the power and importance of women, the influence they have on the world and the impact they’ll leave on it. Mostly, I think this book is for fans of poetry. True fans of poetry will get more out of this read than people — like me — who aren’t regularly reading that medium of writing.
Thank you to the publisher for mailing me a review copy in exchange for an honest review.
Penguin Random House Publishers