Review of Andrea Perry’s "Rise"

Andrea Perry
(Vocamus Press, 2015)
Cid V Brunet

Andrea Perry’s Rise radiates with the belief that humankind is on the brink of a new level of consciousness. In the poem “Rejoice in Celebration”, we see people coming together as one; “a bright, beautiful beating heart / the size of a planet / in synch / one pulse”. Her fresh sense of humor in “Independence Day” playfully imagines this as “…the day the flags came down, / unmasted. People wrote poems / in their passports…Cleaned their toenails / with the corners of their credit cards”.

Her use of anaphora combined with her narrative style mean these poems become stories when read out loud. She easily moves between micro and macrocosmic events and images, taking readers to different dimensions, to encounter archetypical characters, and to romance the sun. There is talk of karma and chakras and a new-age type spiritualism, however, she grounds readers by using imagery from the elements, especially earth. Musings about small things like a mouse, a spider and a pine cone, remind me to look closely at my surroundings and to find beauty in them.

She doesn’t shy away from political themes either. “Gabriela Andreevska, Greece-Macedonia Border” is about refugees, while other poems deal with gender and human cruelty. Overarching the whole collection is the issue of environmental destruction. It infuses her poems with an awareness and sadness. In” Throat Chakra” she writes, “The city was half underwater, a spiritual paradise, a science-based race, equal parts intelligence and heart / or so they claimed. But you knew better, and watched it all go down.”

I like the movement in these poems. They feel fresh and lively. Her belief that human-kind can rise up in order to meet the challenges which currently face us, gives the book a refreshing lightness.