4 out of 4 stars
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The Sandpaper's Spell takes it's reader on a trip down memory lane but instead of the memory lane running a linear path, it takes us on a wildly imaginative and insightful journey through Tom Pearson’s life, loves, and the world he experienced as a young child and an artist. Tom Pearson’s work draws from psychology, archetypal studies, dreams, and his Tsalagi Heritage – all combining to make a stunningly reflective poetic read.
The Sandpiper’s Spell is a relatively short poetry read but Tom Pearson fills each page with an abundance of evocative language. He draws inspiration from his Eastern Band Cherokee heritage and a struggling childhood in Saint Augustine, the oldest city in the United States. He also takes the reader on the path he has travelled to gain the success he now holds. Each poem, each stanza, is honest in what he has seen and felt.
Throughout The Sandpiper’s Spell, Tom Pearson continually shifts the mood, tone, and themes. This creates a realistic feel that mimics the ups and downs that he has faced in life. Some poems like ‘Childhood’, ‘Far-Sighted’ and ‘Bedtime Story’ were ringing with a nostalgia feel while ‘Observation’ brought to life the cold and clinical world that most artists experience when trying to make a name for themselves. He likens the experience to exhibiting art to a panel of predators.
Every page was filled with beautiful and detailed imagery. He reveals his early childhood and significant figures in his life with vivid descriptions. One poem, ‘Creation’, had me absolutely transfixed. I was reading it continuously. By combining creation, Greek mythology, and his imaginative flair, Pearson has created one of my favourite poems ever.
I loved the diversity in The Sandpiper’s Spell. Not only the setting or Tom Pearson’s heritage but the diversity in the poems. The mood, tone and theme shift, as well as the mix of Greek mythology and the poet’s life growing up, all lends to an immersive work that tugs at the reader's heartstrings. Most of the poem felt almost like a confessional or a journal entry which made it even more personal. The Sandpiper's Spell appears professionally edited and follows a free verse format. While I am usually not a fan of free verse, it perfectly emulates the unpredictable nature of the poems.
I rate The Sandpiper’s Spell 4 out of 4 stars. The beautiful and immersive imagery coupled with Tom Pearson’s raw and open perspective on life shines through in every word. The poetry will draw on all the nostalgic feelings of the reader’s past. I feel like any artist will be able to relate to the otherworldly writing and the sad truth on how art is viewed as a commodity instead of what it is – art. I would recommend this book to those looking for a poetry read that will ring with nostalgic tones and will bring forth many buried emotions with Its evocative imagery and universal truths.
The Sandpiper's Spell
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