Saturday, February 7, 2015

Stuffed Animal Saturday [20]

Stuffed Animal Saturday is a meme that we post here at We Live and Breathe Books to showcase the book we're currently reading with one of our favorite stuffed animals and discuss our stuffed animal's opinion (well, it's really our opinion, but that's besides the point). We hope you enjoy our quirky feature as much as we enjoy writing it!

This week, I'd like you to meet Annie, who actually belongs to my sister, and is a Build-a-Bear she got for her birthday last month. Annie is a cat and cats are attracted to sweet things and nothing is sweeter than honey, which is how she ended up reading Honeybee: a collection of poems about letting go by Trista Mateer.

So far: I picked up this book yesterday and at first only really had time to read it in the lull in between classes which disheartened me because the author's note says it's best enjoyed all at once but then I came home for the weekend to visit some people and have just been sitting and reading dozens of pages of poems and devouring them and I absolutely love them. Annie loves them too, she thinks they're really relatable and gut-wrenching (and she doesn't even have a gut to wrench).

Sneak peek: I love all of the poems in this book so I'm just going to pick one that I really like and one that Annie really likes and show you what lies inside:

I am the one physically removing myself
from this place and yet
it feels like you are the one leaving me.
I will never understand how this works

Giving my things back: it
feels like you are dropping our pieces.
I am too heavy to carry
under the
of all this new happiness. 

Also, here's a bonus one because why not:

I still carry you on the insides of me: 
cave paintings on rib-caging.
If I were a peach,
you would be the pit that holds me all together.
When I met you, I was something small and whole;
I do not know how to get back there.
You have the warmest heart I ever set up camp in.

I still carry you on the insides of me:
the contents of my suitcase heart.
I will lug you around until it breaks my back and then some.
I feel sometimes
like I have scattered my pieces everywhere,
but you are the piece I do not know how to leave
at the foot of a stranger's bed
or between the lines of a free-verse poem.
I want you to know that loving you
is freeing; that loving you is
like holding my head under water and coming up new 
again and again.

I still carry you on the insides of me.
This will not always make sense to you.

So, Annie and I both just love these poems and all the other poems we've read so far because they're all so powerful and genuine. I think Trista Mateer's writing is wonderful and many of the poems in the collection demonstrate even stronger writing than the three above -- I chose to sample those less because they displayed the best writing "quality" or prowess from the book but more because they were poems I thought were emotionally evocative (I mean, all of her poems were like that) and personally resonant (the first two moreso for the personal resonance, the third one I just liked mostly for the peach analogy and the flow and just as a poem as a whole). Annie, as someone who is trying to let someone go, thinks she came across this book at a really significant time in her life and plans on binge reading it now and then coming back to it again once she's in a different state of mind. Overall, we both love her work so far and we think whether you're in the mood for a good poem and nothing more or looking for writing that understands your personal loss, this is good for all sorts of circumstances!

- Noor

Are you and your stuffed animal reading anything interesting? 
Let us know in your own Stuffed Animal Saturday!

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