Written by Helena Lancaster
"Helena Lancaster's deeply emotional poetry shows the world a peek inside the soul of someone who has felt like an outsider, battled emotional abuse, and depression. These poems are an ode to days past for her, the physical remnants of where she has been. She sees herself as a survivor of some very painful events in life and just hopes that her words can help others know that in their darkest moments they're not alone."
Behind the Mask was the first professional publication by Helena Lancaster. It contains seventy-five of her poems split into four sections: Nightmares and Solitude, Faces in the Mirror, Haunted Memories, and Circus of Life. Helena has been writing since she was a child, using poetry as a way to deal with the pain of difficulties in life. Her poetry captivates and touches the soul of anyone who has ever felt like they were alone in the dark.
Reading Behind the Mask is almost like reading the diary of both a small, frightened child and a strong woman. The darkness in her words and the pain conveyed throughout the pages were difficult to read at times, not because it lacked talent or content, but because of the sadness and ache you feel for Lancaster. Her poetry certainly stems from the broken child within, but throughout the sadness there is something beautiful and that is how her words broke the chains of control in her life and could do so in someone else's life. This collection could help so many going through similar situations. It is hauntingly beautiful, much like the cover designed by photographer Amber King and Le Fey Designs.
Checking reviews, it's easy to see that many appreciate the emotional poetry of Helena Lancaster's first publication.
"Lancaster's poetry in Behind the Mask: A Collection of Poetry, reveals all of her dark corners and makes you wonder if you have dark corners of your own. As you read each poem about abuse at the hands of a parent, betrayal from the blood as they turned their backs, and her thoughts of suicide, you are felt overwhelmed by emotions. Her words will bring tears of sadness and heartbreak as you read of the abuse to anger and resentment towards those who were to be her protectors. Helena's poems make you wonder how she ever decided to live another day. As I read this collection, I have to admit, they were hard to read at times. Only because her feelings pour out through her words and into you. You can almost feel every feeling she describes. I highly recommend these collection to anyone who has dealt with any form of abuse especially to the point of suicide. And for those who have not had to deal with issues of an abusive parent or loved one, as you read, you realize that no matter what, you can rise from what you are going through. Her poetry gives us all the chance to have our burning day and rise like a phoenix."
"I have been following Helena's writing on Instagram for almost a year now, so I was excited to grab a copy of this book of poetry. A lot of the poetry could be considered sad, and even dark...but it is also beautiful. Her unbridled honesty and vulnerability in this book is very inspirational. It speaks to the darkness that many of us carry...it speaks to the horrors that many of us have survived.
One of my favorite lines was "I live somewhere I don't belong" (from "World of Nightmares). It just really stuck with me.
Thank you for sharing these personal words, Helena. I await your next collection!"
-User TheDegamos via Amazon
"Like spiders laying in wait for their prey, the anxieties of daily life seem to lay dormant to attack us when we're most vulnerable. What's wrong with me? Will anyone love me? Why doesn't anyone care? Helena Lancaster takes these fears and turns them into a lyrical rumination. These haunting poems evoke a hero of the Byronic persuasion and female to boot!"
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