I picked up this book not because of its really colourful and fun cover, surprisingly enough. I decided to read Tempest because the preview poem, GIANT, really resonated with me. In this poem, the author imagines the future to be a gentle giant. Despite being a creepy and imposing monster on the surface, he too needs to have someone wishing him happiness. I spend a lot of time thinking and worrying about the future, especially during this past year. This poem helped me see things differently and, for this reason, I decided to dedicate a couple evenings to this poetry collection. I hoped I would find the new perspective I found in GIANT in some of the other poems in Tempest.
In the foreword, the author explains that, with the poems in Tempest, he aims to capture destructive and terrible things in a beautiful way. Although I can only talk about a couple of the poems in this review, I thought that most of the poems in this book were perfectly in line with this mindset and the dichotomy within them was what kept me interested and fascinated. This poetry collection is about difficult and hard moments as well as incredible moments of clarity. But they don't have the roughness or urgency you'd expect from them. Everything is told with calmness. Reading this book is like hearing the story of a destructive tempest after the boat has been rocked to shore and the sky has cleared again. Everyone is warming up next to a fire. The sea is tranquil and quiet. The fear has gone back into hiding.
Despite this quality of calmness, the poems are neither overly optimistic nor lacking in emotion. The poems are very evocative and have reminded me of the details of moments in my life which I had forgotten about. CAN'T FLY FOREVER reminded me of the chilling silence I'd experience sitting in the park in spring 2020, LONG, LONG AFTER of moments of clarity I'd had during my teenage years, and LAST FEW of some dark but comforting conversation I've had about existence, death and positivity. Since the interpretation of poems is mostly personal, they might do something different for you, but from what I've experienced you're in for a ride if you decide to read Tempest.
If you got this far in the review, you probably already know I loved this book a lot. That's why I'll spend the rest of it just sharing some of my favourite bits from this collection. The wholesome but sad poem IS EVERYTHING OK? is kind of a stream of consciousness, and these are my favourite lines from it:
Even though I'm easily startled regardless,
I wish my thoughts would knock before entering.
Other poems I really liked and resonated with are 22, BITING, and DANDELION. In a way, these three are all about being young and anxious. All about looking for moments of calmness in the tempest.
I am a neuroscience PhD student but I have always been a passionate reader and I have read many different book genres. I also write and have done for a very long time. I would definitely say reading and writing are two of my favourite activities, and I don't think this will change anytime soon.