Book Review: Wicked Words

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Wicked Words | Publisher: Wales Millennium Centre | Price: £2.95 | Genre: Poetry

Article by Togira_Ikonoka

Author’s note: I found this book personally a very hard read and I was in tears quite a lot, not only imagining my young daughter going through things like this when she is much older but also feeling my own past experiences resurfacing, so be warned; the sensitive nature of the content may mean that this review may bring feelings out that you may have struggled with in the past.

Wicked words is the best way to describe the book and is a perfect definition of the collection of poems because they are all thoughts and feelings from people who have experienced bullying in one form or another. The main poetry base comes from young adults who are in comprehensive school with a few added from one of the sponsors (Western Power Distribution) but also some anti-bullying groups like T.U.F.F. (The United Freedom Fighters).

As I have personally been on both sides of the Bully / Bullied argument, I can give my personal view based on such, so here goes, I will pick a few of the poems that stuck out for me the most personally and then review the book as a whole as a collection of poetry.

I particularly liked Message from Yasean on page 13 and although I’m not into rap music or rap in general, I found the piece really hit home for me because it speaks of being bullied but also as standing up for yourself, as the one part reads, “Everyone who’s getting bullied become a team, fight those bullies to fulfil your dream.” It gives a great imagery of people who are being bullied grouping together and protecting each other, not with violence but just by sticking up for each other and becoming one big group of friends.

downloadThe front cover of the book. 

[Image via WPD on Twitter]

Another favourite would be from page 16, where you have the word Bullying spelt out vertically down the page and to every letter of the word you have a sentence that describes a more modern version of bullying with “U’r phone is full with horrible messages” – more and more you read about “text or cyber bullying”. Back a few years when I was in school, bullying was just name calling or by being pushed around or beaten, so this one poem shows how our modern society and therefore bullying has developed and the effects it causes on some people.

“Your life is turning into hell/ Inside you is hurting but you’re afraid to show it/ No one sees you cry/ Got to hide those cuts and bruises”

The hardest and most heart-wrenching poem for me was on page 25, Pick On Someone Your Own Size, because it called out to me for some of my own thoughts from years ago, “Is there something wrong with me?” and “Sometimes I feel angry at my family, thinking they’ve done something to me.”

“You can feel the heart and soul of the people”

Again, bullying affects everyone differently and some people get bullied at home and not in school or sometimes even both, so they have no escape. However, here it shows sometimes you are bullied in such a horrible and hurtful way that you do start to wonder if there is something wrong with you or if there is just something in your genetics (family) that has caused you to be picked on so badly.

The book as a whole is very creative and you can feel the heart and soul of the people who have written some highly personal and emotional pieces of poetry. It not only shows the truth behind bullying and what it does to people but it also shows a different side to the people who are bullying; maybe they have been bullied in the past or are just scared and think the only way of keeping themselves safe is by becoming a bully.

It’s a powerful read and is a great way of understanding what people who are or have been bullied go through on a daily basis and can (in some respects) puts you in their shoes, even if it’s just for a little while.

Related Info and Advice:

If you need to talk to someone about issues brought up in this article:

You can talk to Meic, the information, advice and advocacy helpline for children and young people aged 0-25 in Wales, open 365 days a year.

Young people can contact Meic by phone (080880 23456), text (84001), instant message ( or email ( between 8am and midnight. 

You can also check out our related Info Page here:


10 Facts About Cyberbullying

Bullied From Both Sides

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