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The Trees the Trees

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4.36 of 5 stars 4.36  ·  rating details  ·  345 ratings  ·  46 reviews
In THE TREES THE TREES, the follow-up to Heather Christle's acclaimed first collection, THE DIFFICULT FARM, each new line is a sharp turn toward joy and heartbreak, and each poem unfolds like a bat through the wild meaninglessness of the world.
Paperback, first, 60 pages
Published July 1st 2011 by Octopus Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,057)
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Sian Lile-Pastore
I don't know how to write about poetry, so i'll just say that this was beautiful and reminded me of Twin Peaks somehow. Maybe it was all the trees.

My favourite poem I think is 'Soup is one form of salt water'
I like that it says
'I am making borscht [.....]
my hands are bright pink like i have been applauding you for hours my love for you is louder than I know
[...]
I must use starfish to scrub at my hands.'
Roberto
Heather Christle is my new favourite author! There is something really arresting and unexpected going on with these poems. They are like little shrines. And they have really good titles. Something about the way each new line feels both flippant and profound at the same time. Love love love.
Shannon
This book is the single best book of poetry I have ever read in my life. Heather Christle is the voice inside my head while I'm dreaming. I love her subjects--how effortlessly she fuses the natural world with technology in a way that won't feel dated no matter how far into the future people are reading it. Reading this was like someone put a blood pressure cuff around my heart, squeezed it as tightly as they could and then all of the air rushed out at once in a long hiss and I could feel everyth ...more
Jimmy
Heather is playing 'house' in this book. I don't mean to imply the domesticity, but the pretend, the imagination, the whimsiness, and the playing of roles. Often, like an only child, Heather has to play all the roles herself.
Half-Hedgehog Half-Man
talk to me I said okay said the tree and it
twinkled not like that I said I already know
that talk to me about something new you
monster
it said that was a little better could
we try this
I said from a different perspective
so we swapped places I was still
...more
TinHouseBooks
Elizabeth Pusack (Intern, Tin House Magazine): Heather Christle’s The Trees the Trees. I just read a review likening these poems to little mazes! The reviewer was talking about shape and staging, but Heather Christle’s writing does feel like very offbeat problem solving. So many riddles like this one with strange particulars, but particularly familiar cores: “I lost my phone I am using the baby monitor / instead it’s in the flowers nobody’s calling / but I know that someday you will it’s just pl ...more
Sara
I like this even better than The Difficult Farm, and I liked that a whole lot. Heather Christle is easily one of my favorite poets right now.
Eric M. R.
Fantastic. Wrote a couple of poems inspired by these. Saw her read once in person, it was also fantastic.
Dc Lozano
i am re-reading this book AGAIN because it is awesome. i want to tattoo every 5th line on my body.
Sarah Cook
Significantly influenced the way I write poetry (and played a huge role in my dgp chapbook).
Gina
i love these poems like fuckin WHAT, they busted my heart up and made her their girl.
Philip Gordon
Listening to Heather Christle read her poems (I watched this video on Youtube for a sense of her voice), it's hard to say anything particularly negative about her poetry—while the voice in her center-justified ramblings plays at flippancy and coy disregard for expectation, her public speaking seems so meek and inward facing that she might burst into tears at any moment.

That doesn't mean I'm going to pull my punches, but it did give me a different perspective on the voice her poetry was aiming fo
...more
Valerie
I really liked Christle's first book, and I also liked this one.

I thought the line breaks were unique and I thought they suited the poems. The poems looked like prose poems, a big block of text, and the line breaks were spaces put into the sentences. There is no punctuation or capital letters, but the poem's flow is completely clear because of these spaces between phrases or sentences.

I wish I read this when Christle was reading her poems over the phone for people who called her. What a fun ide
...more
Laurie
When I read these poems, I wondered “How can anyone not want to be _______* ?” Insert any of the following:
• in a hot air balloon
• “an airplane with no pilot and no wings”
• “the kind of handbag nobody weep into"
• “at Space Camp permanently”
(* All of these things really do happen in The Trees The Trees. If you identify with any of them, this book is for you.)

Here is a speaker who elects to escape, or, at the very least, experience one thing at a time, when so much bombards. I admire this spe
...more
Tyler Crumrine
I am still somewhat in shock. These poems are beautiful, funny and borderline mystic. There is a distinct and unpredictable rhythm to them. I bought this book on recommendation without even realizing that John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats was the one who wrote the blurb recommending it. He summarizes it better than I ever could:

"You get the impression of the oracle at Delphi trying her hand at stand-up or jamming the broadcast of the nightly news: Christle's gift for welding surreal visions t
...more
Bobby Dixon
This was a good collection. I favorite of mine was, My Enemy:

I have a new enemy he is so good looking here
is a photograph of him in the snow he is in the
snow and so is the photo I put it there because
I hate him and because it is always snowing in
the photograph my enemy is acting like there
are no neighbors but there are always neighbors
they just might be far away he is 100% evil
and good looking he looks good in his parka
in the snow if you asked he would call it a
helmet all he ever does is lie
...more
Emmanuel
my friend and i have a ritual of drinking red wine and reading poetry to each other. entire books swallowed in one sitting. no bathroom breaks, although some pausing for discussion of boys and breakdowns and breakthroughs are allowed. this wonderful collection is just like that moment you part from someone you love, even just for the night, and in walking away you glance backward and offer some kind of gesture, perhaps a wave or a more elaborate salute of some kind, even if they don't see, and i ...more
Dominique
'My enemy' (he does not breathe/ or move/ or glow/ he is not that kind of man/ it is not that kind of snow) is a-we-so-me.

And then there's this reading of poems that's also pretty cool: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhoJx... (Gloria Evaluates The New Desert — at least it bangs her like a man).

There's this podcast about Heather Christle that's interesting: http://otherppl.com/heather-christle-....

There are so many poems in this collection that make me jump and scream en smile and want to live a
...more
Nicole Testa
I had been meaning to read this book by Heather Christle for a long time, after studying with her and seeing her read. I really enjoyed reading this book. It's unlike anything I've read before, which is refreshing. I've read plenty of poems that combine the ordinary with the surreal, but when she does it, the way she does it, the ordinary is more ordinary and the surreal is much more surreal - and it's wonderful. Writing about a family, the speaker becomes the house itself. In a poem about Chris ...more
Helen
I have to admit, I've never been a fan of spacing within the lines of a poem like for example what I'm doing right now. To me it's never been an effective tool to evoke a pause, a thought. It just looks silly and feels disingenuous.

So, obviously, I didn't really care for this book.
Quailsp
A friend of mine used to do writing workshops with Heather Christle and what she said is that when she would read Heather's work she realized that you don't have to wait thirty years or until you're old to be good, you can be really really good RIGHT NOW so GO DO IT.

Also, never be afraid of total failure.

Also, read this book.
Mary
A great example of language that does more with less.
Jillian
Got better as it went. Maybe me adjusting to her style? A lot of these ended choppily. My favorites were all near the end -- i know the air should not contain me, soup is one form of saltwater, and moving out.
Eric T. Voigt Voigt
These were nice poems. All of them. My favorite were 'My Enemy' and 'Human Problems.' These were worth paying attention to. They brightened my physically uncomfortable day. I don't remember St. Patrick's Day taking such a toll last year.
Trey Harris
I feel obligated to write a goodreads review of this book because I usually do for the ones I like best, but I also don't feel capable of saying anything intelligent about it. it's so very good. probably you should read it right away.
Melody
Poetry can hit me hard. Unexpectedly. Charm me. Or I can simply see words on a page and say hmmmm or something rather noncommittal. I am non-committed to The Trees the trees.
Luis Correa
Energetic. While I couldn't really point out very many individual poems--and they were all distinct--it works so well as a collection they just all blended together beautifully.
Melissa
The Trees The Trees is a killer, cohesive book full of paratactic flashes on what it's like to feel human, with all its itches, both in nature and in boxes.
Alex
Aug 10, 2011 Alex rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: poetry
just a spectacular collection, read my review here
Aran
Jan 21, 2012 Aran rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: poetry
This book was really exciting. Interesting form, leaps, liked the seeming break up story towards the end. Again: really exciting.
Brendan
Read this quickly and enjoyed it. Not returning it yet, I might want to peep it again in a week maybe.
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Heather Christle is the author of WHAT IS AMAZING (Wesleyan, 2012), THE TREES THE TREES (Octopus, 2011), and THE DIFFICULT FARM (Octopus, 2009). She has taught at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and at Emory University, where she was the 2009-2011 Creative Writing Fellow. She is the Web Editor for jubilat and frequently a writer in residence at the Juniper Summer Writing Institute. A nativ ...more
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