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.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

"Treasure Ground" by Clare Best (HappenStance, 2009)

A pamphlet (book-ended by 2 pages of prose) that describes an agricultural season in the Fens as if Robin Robertson had written "Dart". "Treasure" can be read as an adjective or an imperative. At the start the narrator's asking to be shown things; by the end we're sometimes inside the creatures' heads. At first the poems use distance to explore - shadows of nearby things stretching to the hills. Later the pieces are more conscious of the time dimension - the planting of apple trees sending the narrator six years on, imagining the apples' taste.

The most innovative layout is on p.6 where 12 numbered items are unevenly spread over 5 3-lined stanzas. The poetry often comprises short phases with a generous dose of imagery that's never pathetic fallacy - "a vast billowing sail of birds/ like a parachute steadying the plough."; "The field is losing its memory"; "CDs hang like winter suns"; "The land a faded photograph".

Other Reviews

No comments:

Post a Comment