Covenant Books (2022)
Reviewed by Jill Rey for Reader Views (1/2023)
“Curtains” is a book of poetry comprised of seven parts. Ranging from dark beginnings, to fighting back, messages of hope, love and how to find it, love and the return of politics, believers getting their fair share, and finally the death of a poet, there is a diverse variety in the emotions and contemplations brought to light as readers traverse the writings of author John Anderson.
Written amidst the backdrop of COVID-19, political unrest, and the Black Lives Matter Movement, these current events shine through in several of the sections compiled within. Whether it be poems mentioning six feet of space, to finally smiling and hugging in person again, readers can feel the monumental moments that occurred as these poems came together. However, the underlying theme of everything penned by author John Anderson’s hand is his Christian faith. Using his unwavering devotion to God, Anderson reminds readers of His presence in everything we do. Such as poem xxvii stating “The answer to the problem is always God, and yet we choose another.”
However, despite the mention of God in nearly, if not all, poems within, Anderson keeps it lighthearted, introspective, and strong willed depending on the emotion the poem seeks to evoke. For example, poem xxviii is lighthearted in its delivery and yet fierce in its purpose, relating such to a favorite appetizer while reminding readers of important Christian beliefs, “How nice is it to shred our sins like little pieces of cheese. Melt it into a nacho dip and feed the devil disease.”
While the poems within “Curtains” lean heavily on God, it is realistic of Anderson’s beliefs and his process through the very jarring and life changing current events happening around him during the writing of these works. Despite this, regardless of the reader’s religious leanings, the poems were relatable for all, understandable, and emotional at times. Venturing into life and death, sickness and health, sins, and falls, and the coming back together, looking for love and being worthy, “Curtains” has a little bit of everything across the seven parts. Fears come out, struggles rise to the surface, and yet the author recognizes that he is just a man, a man feeling the pull to share his messages of God. Anderson has accomplished this mission and more as he spreads his words to the masses.