The Forest

Poetry - General
42 Pages
Reviewed on 01/29/2022
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Sierra Blasko for Readers' Favorite

Full of evocative imagery and a gorgeous interior, The Forest by T.C. Anderson delivers a haunting walk through the poetic woods of humanity, of longing and estrangement. The Forest is a 42-page collection of poetry and art. It has been split into three acts (the branches, the forest, and the roots), along with an introductory poem, which greets the reader and summarizes the road they're about to take. Many of the poems are accompanied by sketches of nature, and according to the author's bio, the collection was developed to accompany an art installation (also titled "The Forest") by Mari Omori.

Let me just start this off by saying that I'm about as tired as the next person of hearing reviewers rave, "It's not just a poetry book, it's an experience," over mediocre poetry. But, I ask you, how else am I supposed to describe this collection? It feels like fall; it feels like childhood in the woods and adulthood on early autumn sidewalks. It feels like fresh summer air from the only open window on a bus and the chill you get from a spring day turned unexpectedly cold. It feels like a lover who brings flowers home from work and a best friend you haven't texted in years (but you want to -- oh, you want to).

To start with something more concrete than just my synesthetic ramblings, the poetry inside is definitely not mediocre. There's a depth and sway to it that isn't present in lesser collections. The poems hit me deep inside, and I loved the way they were paired with sketches and interesting formatting. Also, I'm a sucker for white text on black backgrounds. A perfect book to read as the seasons change, preferably at home or your favorite cafe, with a gentle drink and New Constellations by Ryn Weaver playing in the background.

Clarissa Pattern

I was so happy receiving this book in a review exchange, it is a truly beautiful and moving collections of poems. Reading it is like taking a slow walk through a forest and being only vaguely aware as around you time passes and dawn turns to twilight. The book itself is to be savoured in its own right with delicate illustrations and black pages interspersed between the more traditional white ones. The language is immediately accessible but invites us to pause and think about what it truly means with direct questions such as 'How have you fared in this weary world?/Are you really listening?' asked in the poem 'Fall in and Feel Free'. In 'Carry me Gently', T.C.Anderson says 'I'll rewrite the script and/live in my words'. While reading this volume, I did feel that I was living in and through and beyond the words.

All the works seemed so complete and perfectly formed in themselves so I was surprised at the end of the work where the poet said she'd worked with the creative process of pulling random, previously written phrases from a bowl and then arranging them into the poems. I am a fan of découpé but have rarely seen it put together so elegantly. It adds to my already high recommendation of this book as it is such an inspiring insight into the whole process of writing and what can be produced.