From the very first page Shaking the Trees meets you at the edge of the forest, extends a limb & seduces you into taking a walk through the dark & light of connection. Suddenly, like a gunshot in the very-near distance, you find yourself traipsing though a full-blown love story that you can’t find your way out of because the story is actually the landscape underneath your feet.
"You are not an apology, do not treat yourself like one."
"It is not what I’ve read, mother. There is a monster inside of me. It’s turned me into a body, it’s turned me into nails. I am desperate for him. I am trembling for him. Love is furious, mother, it is so red and ugly. At night we hold each other and shake from the violence of it.”
"I’ve loved you in so many places… I can’t remember if home exists."
"… do not gentle yourself for any man. Do not change for the ones who think that you should be softer, less mouth, less voice. You do not owe regrowth to anyone but yourself. When they begin to ask for you to shape yourself around them, leave. Shut the door firmly. Do not look back.
4 out of 5
I have no idea how this slipped my radar. I’ve been following 5000letters (the author who you should check out and basically worship her words) for quite some time and while I knew she had a book coming out I wasn’t sure when the release date was.
Lo and behold the morning of June 30th comes by and I check my email only to find a copy of this book sent to me by the lovely Layla ( xiv-leyli ) in my inbox and before I even bother with washing my face or brushing my teeth I got to reading it right away.
I honestly haven’t read a collection like this before, or at least I can’t remember having read one.
It is sort of split into months and at the beginning of each one there is this one page short story that tells the events of two people getting to know each other in this heartbreaking manner that only Azra Tabassum can put into words.
After which it goes on with poems that are all.. teeth with words that are just violent in the sense that they’re uninhibited.
I spent that Monday morning having my heart wrecked by Azra. It’s like that opening line in Fahrenheit 451 when Bradbury says “It was a pleasure to burn”. It really was a pleasure being wrecked by it. Thank you for your words.
With that being said I now need a physical copy of this book to hug, sniff and highlight.