A Stroll Between Forest Paths

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©Fall River Press

A collection of poetry written by Robert Frost, compiled by others. A glimmering cover which reflects the light of the world and its curiosities, silver lining on the pages. A curved gutter, leaving enough room for a thin ribbon. A smooth, thick cover. Vintage introductory papers to wrap around the inside of the cover, to pose a sentiment to the content which is highlighted with an older style, long-lettered font.

Thin but sturdy pages.

A bulky formatting of text, made even bulkier by the amount of text overtaking each line, as if spilling into a stanza of word upon word upon slightly circular font, separated from the overbearing title by a strange-looking computer-designed strand of leaves…

Though the content is enjoyable and the cover is pretty okay, the book bends back slightly slowly, not as purely as I would like. It’s like looking for a tear where there are only perfectly-rendered stitches in a blot of fabric. No coffee stains, no tea stains, no teardrops… Only smooth paper dotted with robotic ink.

Now, if this book was created to be a unique copy of an original book like the early modern books that Amaranth Borsuk mentions in The Book, reading it would become more personable for me, as if I would be interacting with the people who compiled the anthology into a small volume. Unfortunately, this Frost collection was created to look and feel identical to all the rest of its kin from the press it came from. I wish I could feel the melancholy of the words, the loneliness, the serenity of the scenery… The imperfection of nature, yet the beauty overlapping this imperfection. But all I see, feel, smell, sense is perfection.

Though the book is wonderful, its design makes the experience of reading slightly impersonal because of the standard way in which it has physically been compiled. I hope to someday wreck it into a state which is more… fitting, perhaps…

Borsuk, Amaranth. The Book. (Boston: MIT Press, 2018).

3 thoughts on “A Stroll Between Forest Paths”

  1. I am also a fan of Robert Frost! I like that you note how you expect a book to bend a certain way. Readers have expectations for books and readers notice the small little details that big publishers might not think makes much of a difference for the consumer.


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