Take a glimpse at the paradise before us
A reality, our ancestors were intimately aware of
A world, our children are still part of
Comparing between modern and pre-historic perceptions of ourselves and the world
This book suggests that our ability for direct, unmediated, personal interaction
With the actual material world
With our own physical body
- Has been diminished
But it all happened to serve a greater
Perhaps a higher
Assuming perspectives like that of a favorite coffee cup and a salad, Oshri's free-style poems urge an understanding (“You know why people don’t focus on eating? / It is fear of intimacy”) of being present with all that we consume and cherish. Oshri beckons readers to pay close attention to objects they encounter everyday in "Life, Beside Us," and suggests taking a walk nude while covering the head on a chilly day to let the exposed senses take charge of the body, a recommendation many readers (especially in populous areas) may find extreme. Oshri's intent in such passages is not to shock or establish ideological supremacy. Instead, he’s presenting ideas and approaches to living, with insightful and at times challenging examples.
Oshri’s writing is clean and immediately clear throughout. The arrangement of prose passages in brief, broken paragraphs ensures a measured pacing that emphasizes the ideas, achieving stylistic and theoretical continuity with the interspersed poems. Straightforward and creative, this imaginative collection is an able,novel, and provocative introduction to the many principles of animism.
Takeaway: Readers interested in exploring the spiritual belief of animism will find illumination in this unique poetry collection.
Great for fans of: Dennis Schmitz’s Animism, Emma Restall Orr’s The Wakeful World.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: B+