The Trees Witness Everything by Victoria Chang is a collection of poems heavily influenced by the poet W.S. Merwin and written in varying forms of wakas. The poems are about grieving Chang’s mother and father, about how the environment and animals interact with grief, and what it means to exist within loss. The poems I was particularly drawn to were ‘Losing a Language’, ‘Passing’, ‘No One’, ‘The Sound of the light’, ‘In the Open’, ‘What Can We Call It’, ‘The Lovers’, ‘In the Doorway’, and the last few stanzas of ‘Love Letters’. It ends with the beautiful lines, “Let me tell you a story/about hope: it always starts/and ends with bird.”
Final Rating: 4/5
Maxwell Suzuki is a writer, poet, and photographer based in Los Angeles.