Count the Ways and Other Poems: A Collection – Rachel Sheng

‘Count the Ways and Other Poems’ is a series of unsent letters from a forgotten lover to the one who broke their heart. While trying to navigate the aftermath of a failed relationship, the speaker reveals the power and pain of that tumultuous feeling: love. The most reasonable choice would be to forget and move on, but their heart, haunted by the memories that are no more, refuses to do so. The agonized writer’s letters reveal moments of pure bliss captured in their mind, transferred onto paper as they ask again and again: why did this have to end?

Throughout their journey, the speaker revisits memories from childhood all the way to the present, recounting the times when they met people with broken souls and wondered how they had gotten there. Too late, they realize that, by letting the brokenness take over, they have grown up and forgotten how to hope, and search desperately for the attachment that they yearn for. Challenging time, belief, and love itself, Count the Ways and Other Poems is as much about the hurting as it is about the healing.

Through beautifully wrought verse, Rachel Sheng writes of a mind whose memories clash with reality, who cannot come to terms with what has happened. Within these pages, the pain takes form and grows, revealing a beauty that cannot be found with happiness alone.