Anderson’s Poetry is a Shuttle Breaking the Atmosphere of Small Thought
Tapestries of galaxies and stars undulate throughout Now Voyager. Published in 2019 through Cholla Needles Arts & Literary Library, Cynthia Anderson’s collection swirls its readers throughout the cosmos. The illustrations provided by Susan Abbott help transform the work as a whole into a visually stimulating experience as well. It is very well balanced with the poems; the art complements the text rather than over shadows it.
Anderson’s writing style is peaceful, yet still she catches her readers off guard when poems present the horrifying awe of being insignificant creatures “…helpless before the roar of a burning star.” Though her words permeate the realm of kitsch at times, she does well at pulling back and allows the vastness of the deep, dark unknown to melt into the mind. There is no definite end or beginning, because who “…stands apart? / No one stands apart.” There is constant spiral of destruction and rebirth.
“Miranda” is an exquisite piece which showcases Anderson’s silken horror. It’s more clinical name being, Uranus V, Miranda is one of five satellites which are “…tethered / to Uranus in a tight, vicious orbit…” around the planet. As Anderson applies a humanity to this celestial body through her uncomfortable descriptions Miranda’s tribulations. She is “…tortured – / slashed, scarred…” “…more Bride of Frankenstein than moon…” Anderson writes of Miranda as if the moon as been cursed for all eternity:
She accepts her fate and keeps going –
inside, hot and churning, outside,
icy and forlorn – not a beauty,
but a crone, a travesty of what a moon can be.
Eons of anguish sit on each of Anderson’s meticulously placed letters. Terror spills out for eternity.
Though Anderson’s writing style is calming, even serene, in its delivery, her work is painted with an ever present violence. “Each day I remake / the cosmos by eating it.” Even the speaker’s testament as to why she writes is anything but placid. The writing process “…levels me / even as I’m held upright.” Again, she depicts how even the act of creation is not without struggle. “The old stories / will kill you / if you let them.” There is the spiral of destruction and rebirth.
Now Voyager is a collection intended for those who are in need of reflection or searching for a moment of connection with the wider universe. “The burned-out shell / of another universe / drifts closer, its spaces / laced with color and stars.” Filled with both more stylized and prose formats, Anderson has sent forth an excellent assortment of poems.
Readers interested in this or some of Cynthia Anderson’s other poetic works, In The Mojave or Desert Dweller, can order her collections online or through their local booksellers.
Thank you for supporting modern poets by reading this free review. If possible, please donate what you can so these reviews may remain free. 10% of all site earnings and donations will be gifted to Lambda Literary at the end of 2019!
Interested in sponsoring a free review for a poet? Donate here!
If you’re a poet who would like a free review, click here!
Affiliate links may be present in this review, meaning, at no additional cost to you, Berry’s Poetry Book Reviews receives a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.