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Chapter by Chapter: Pillow Thoughts

A collection of prose and poetry divided into 10 different sections, "Pillow Thoughts" by Courtney Peppernell was unlike any other poetry book I had ever read. With a corresponding ink drawing of a jellyfish and a new title for every section, this book divides itself into distinct categories for what you need at the time. You come to learn that this jellyfish that follows you throughout the book represents you, as the author has decided in the first poem.

The sections “If you are dreaming of someone,” “If you are in love” and “If you are missing someone” were the most impactful to me. I found myself in between the lines of Peppernell’s beautiful writing as I followed her through the journey of discovery. I resonated with the emotion she felt. Through the metaphor of the jellyfish, we can put ourselves in each piece and feel those emotions.

Most of her poems and prose do not have names or titles, but they are distinguished by their unique plots and different forms. Peppernell’s writing is so vivid that it can come alive in front of you. Her prose and poems feel like a moment that has already passed as if you are reminiscing while reading her words. It allows you to relive her heartbreak, her love, her passion, her emotions as if they were your own. And perhaps they are your own, that’s the beauty of the human experience.

The unique ability to take the reader through an emotional and spiritual journey is something that I have only found in "Pillow Thoughts." One of the most impactful pieces was prose I read on page 136: “It feels like the universe closes in around us when you touch me. But the moment is so fleeting and you are gone again. Then it is just me with too much space. The universe is awfully large, and I am awfully small, and I wish you were here to close the space.”

"Pillow Thoughts" is a book about the journey of life through the twists and turns, the ups and downs, and the full range of human emotion. It’s a book that dives into the deepest parts of ourselves; the parts we don’t let anyone else see. It touches on love, loneliness, hope, sadness and growth, the most important things about being human.


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