Poetry Book Reviews

Our Numbered Days

If you haven’t had the pleasure of experiencing slam poetry or have never heard of Neil Hilborn before then I strongly urge you to check out some of his performances, particularly OCD and Joey. It will give you an idea of his voice and the strong emotional impact of his writing.

“Love how you hate yourself sometimes,
because goddamn, at least there’s still something to hate.”

Our Numbered Days is a brilliant collection because it challenges readers to ask questions about themselves and take a look at their lives. Hilborn tackles some extremly heavy topics such as heartbreak, mental illness, depression, and suicide. Many of the poems are emotionally raw and are based on the author’s real life experiences. The collection contains forty-five poems, including the two previously mentioned, and a few choice quotes from other authors.

“But isolation is not safety, it is death. If no one knows you’re alive, you aren’t. If a tree falls in the forest and no one’s around to hear it, it does make a sound, but then that sound is gone. I am not saying you will find the meaning of life in other people. I am saying that other people are the life to which you provide the meaning.”

Hilborn’s writing is powerful because it creates vivid visuals that really illustrate the central messages in his poems. Several of the poems are also peppered with sharp humor that can be both funny and sobering. I’ve never seen or heard depression talked about as succinctly as in this poetry collection and I’m glad that I read it, even if a few of them made me tear up.

Hilborn’s poetry is definitely an experience and he is easily one of my favorite modern poets, I highly recommend this collection especially for those that have struggled with mental illness.

Title: Our Numbered Days
Author: Neil Hilborn
Publisher: Button Poetry
Publication Date: April 1, 2015
Pages: 63
Format: Paperback
Source: Library

When you’re dumb enough for long enough, you’re gonna meet someone too smart to love you, and they’re gonna love you anyway, and it’s gonna go so poorly,” Neil Hilborn’s debut collection, Our Numbered Days, is funny and mad at itself for being funny. It’s sad, and it thinks that’s also funny. It’s smart, even when it’s calling itself stupid. It says “Love me”
while insisting that loving it is a bad idea. Our Numbered Days is like playing mini golf on a first date: it will be embarrassing at first, but, it swears, you’re gonna love it.


  1. I don’t read much poetry but this sounds fantastic! Especially since they really make you think. Thanks for a great review!

    1. It definitely does, it was very touching and personal. I’m not normally big on poetry either but I really enjoy Hilborn’s work. Thanks for stopping by Sara. 🙂

  2. Poetry and I never got along, unfortunately, but I love how Our Numbered Days comes across as honest and direct, but has heart as well.

    I might pass though, since the trigger warnings aren’t something I’m keen on reading about.
    Sophia (Bookwyrming Thoughts) recently posted…Fangirl Friday: HP Hogwarts Mystery, Becoming, Fahrenheit 451My Profile

    1. Oh definitely, if you have triggers particularly around depression and suicide then I would definitely recommend staying away. Hilborn’s work goes straight for the feels and a few of his poems make me tear up every time I read or hear them.

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