Telling the Bees by Faith Shearin is a collection of poems that processes and recounts the relationships she has with her dog, her daughter, her parents, and with herself. While there were moments of intrigue, especially in the poems ‘Scurvy’, ‘Telling the Bees’, ‘Floods and Fires’, and ‘Dust’, the rest of the collection felt like it lacked depth. This can be seen in poems such as ‘Rewind’ which was about watching movies in rewind and wanting to be younger. Though, the poem didn’t go any further than that, and I would’ve liked to see a specific moment which was rewound or dug deeper as to why she wanted to be younger. I was also a little apprehensive about the poems ‘Lizzie Borden’ and ‘Typhoid Mary’ which both seemed to lay out what each person did wrong, but ultimately created an empathetic image in the end. This unsettled me, which may have been what Shearin was going for, but both seemed to be outliers in their sentiments in the collection. Overall, the collection didn’t feel specific/granular enough.
Final Rating: 2.5/5
Maxwell Suzuki is a writer, poet, and photographer based in Los Angeles.