Andrea Gibson is a very good poet. Their album Hey Galaxy made a pretty large personal impact, and their previous books have generally been pretty good. This is why Take Me With You feels like such a lazy cash in. It’s an attempt to sell a very pretty book to an audience that won’t digest poetry in a more traditional form.
Gibson wasn’t really the type of poet that you’d recommend to fans of Rupi Kaur, but that’s obvious what they were going for here. This isn’t so much a collection of poems as it is a collection of quotes. Gibson does take some lines from their previous poetry and use it here, but they’re not published as poems. These are just seemingly unconnected bits of text printed in an appealing font with nice pictures. This is a tumblr-blogger’s dream. The pages are Instagram-ready, and practically printed with “#poetry #deep #love” at the bottom. Even the division into “Love”, “The World”, and “Becoming” are the types of pretentious topics that dilettantes will adore, but any substance that Gibson’s poetry has is eaten up in the lazy nature of the book.
The title Take Me With You implies that this may be some sort of crutch to carry with you for when you need some sort of comforting thought on love, the world, or becoming. In that sense it succeeds, one can easily flip to any random page in the book and find something almost instantly relatable. That being said, there are so little specificities to the collection to really make it enjoyable. Some moments read more like memes or greeting cards than poetry.
Gibson has sold out as much as one can sell out when in the poetry game. This book will be immensely successful, but the reader should look into Gibson’s other work to really see what makes them a great poet. This is only necessary for Andrea Gibson completists or those who like pretty pictures.