Tainted Lionheart by Christine Weimer is a compilation of the author's original poetry, narrated in three phases through which the poetess has traversed while navigating the aftermath of absolute heartbreak. The first part of the anthology, Bruising, begins with the hope and optimism that springs from an emotional well even when we know the territory we are entering is dangerous. There is blame cast and longing still, our hearts raw from the foolishness that leads to inevitable destruction. There is pain. It's agony, really. Agony with such depth that we see no way out. Weimer follows this with part two, Brooding, wherein we see a transition to anger and awareness that begins the process of setting blame on the one who claims to be blameless. Finally, Weimer takes us to Breathing in part three, where a shift in power is reinstated in the spurned party with pieces such as Chaos that reads, “I am the ruler here, I am the master of the domain that upheaval thinks it can rest in...”
To put how moved I was reading the work of Christine Weimer into perspective, Tainted Lionheart is the 418th book I have reviewed. This collection of poetry is the most poignant, most touching, most profoundly raw I have read in a very, very long time. It's not easy or comfortable—and it's not meant to be. The first two sections will resonate deeply with readers who, at some point in their lives, found themselves crawling on the floor, sobbing. The final phase reveals the evolution toward acceptance despite not always being in possession of understanding, and in spite of the fact that we will likely never be whole again. And that's okay. My favorite poem is in part two, Brooding, and is called Pumps. In it, Weimer latches onto the potency of a counterblow when an injured party rises to eclipse the shiny novelty of the one they've been replaced with, at which time it is simply too late. There will be no more hitching of wagons to Weimer's shooting star. This is a fantastic book of poetry. Very highly recommended.