by Anastasia Lindsey
Print Length: 256 pages
Publisher: Atmosphere Press
Reviewed by Lindsay Crandall
A heartbreaking collection of poetry grounded in nature
OCEAN by Anastasia Lindsey paints a devastatingly real picture of heartbreak, love, loss, and acceptance. This collection is broken into four sections: deep waters, wading, the shore, and sand castles.
Each section contains a multitude of poems all held together by similar emotions. Lindsey weaves these emotions and themes together, painting vivid natural scenes in each work. In one such piece, one of my favorites in the entire collection, Lindsey writes,
“I would whisper to the clouds
the things I never told a soul
my secrets must have been heavy to carry
it’s sure raining down on me.”
My favorite aspect of this collection has to be the “lighthouse” pages. Lindsey designates them as safe haven, stating, “Any time you see a lighthouse icon at the top of your page, it’s a sign of safety and provides you an opportunity to check in, to rest, to recalibrate, and breathe.” These pages allow readers to decompress and may contain journal prompts, breathing exercises, or other self-guided meditations. This is such a delightful inclusion from Lindsey and allows readers to really sit with what they’ve read and absorb the feelings they are experiencing.
OCEAN may span years of Lindsey’s life; it may span months. The timeframe in which these moments takes place isn’t immediately apparent. It’s possible that Lindsey included every poem she created during this period, which is purposeful, but also works against the power of the collection. No single poem is longer than a page or two, and some are only a sentence or two long; however, the sheer number of works included make some of the pieces come across as repetitive after a while. The length of some of these pieces make it a quick read to flip through, but it may be best to savor and soak in each poem before moving on.
OCEAN is one of the most unique poetry collections I’ve ever read. The vivid imagery Lindsey is able to conjure offers an incredible reading experience, only heightened by the absolute raw emotion she infuses. Lighthouse pages will keep readers present with their own emotions and encourage rest and reflection. I enjoyed reading this collection as a whole and hope that her love gets to “live on forever in [her] mind [with] millions of readers worldwide.”
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