Literary reviews by Tim Love.
Warning: Rather than reviews, these are often notes in preparation for reviews that were never finished, or pleas for help with understanding pieces. See Litref Reviews - a rationale for details.

Sunday 5 May 2002

"Bunny" by Selima Hill (Bloodaxe, 2001)

There are 24 4-line poems, 15 6-line poems and 18 8-liners in this collection of mostly short-lined poems. Perhaps the book's best treated as a long poem. Here's the whole of 'Passion-fruit'

The passion-fruit resembles
coloured bruises

into a ball you can suck

I like the image, but I think Plath (for example) would have tightened it (why the coy 'resembles'?) and have continued. When the imagery is less effective (as in 'Mussels') the white space filling the rest of the page looks defeatist - 'Milk' would be ok as a sentence in an AL Kennedy short story where there'd be no white-space to water it down. I like 'Prawns de Jo', but I think 15 of the other short poems could have been similarly packed into one longer piece. Perhaps the problem is that the market doesn't like long poems or books with few pages.

On the other hand 'Wristwatch' and 'Blancmange' work unaided.

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