If you have a library, or even if you don’t, you must already be knowing that not many poetry collections have major award-winning poems contained in them — not debut ones, at the least!; but Abigail Parry is above what does not happen, for poems from her first collection, Jinx, have already been featured where not everyone is featured.
Jinx must be, then, as magical as its name suggests, must it not?
Indeed it is!
Oh Lucas, did they say
that each man has his double in the dark?
She knows how to make things happen — her Ropey Joe knows how to keep your threads taut; even the unexpectedly losing Spook is fine in this art.
Her voice is different; to me, her poetry was initially a cracked road uncomfortably trod — but not disliked. Her words are like a habit that keeps with you even after the copy is back on the shelf (with numerous other poets!). So, even if her poetry ceases from catching up with you from the beginning, believe me when I say that it will do with a little passage of time — and of lines. The water that seeps in slowly asks for a little time to reach the water table. Similarly, her art is subtle; it takes you in after a while — such as the alliteration in Good Morning, Captain (though not only in this, obviously) — and then doesn’t leave you till the end, or even after the end ends.
The Captain’s been the cat who got the cream.
When you’re a little over halfway through the book, you say to yourself that there’s so much life in these pages (it is amusing how Parry has gotten so many animals to speak to her; this is a zoo masterfully crafted), to which the poet herself answers,“Well sure, there’s a life hung in the cupboard / […] / there’s a hundred more beyond this room.” And you’re expected to move to the next pages but there is no need to force you for that — your foot’s trod, you’ve moved.
Gradually, you know that this book is worth all the time that it took to be gotten into; now, although there’s so much to look for in Parry‘s collection, what I’ve liked the most is the number of segmented poems. She has discussed, with the reader, a little Biology subconsciously; so, what cheers me up is the metamerism in these long poems.
We are a scattered thing — imagine a fibrous net
globe-wide, and stuffed with reedlings!
This is a thatch of ropey cells, busy.
And the collection is a little (or quite) different from how other collections are — there is beauty every next step; I have loved the repetitions that enter with subtlety in the poems and guide you through the lines the way even a straw guides someone who drowns; for this book closes in upon you — you are a reader, you swim through a vastness that is no less than that of a sea which joins only horizons.
what’s that word? Exposed on celluloid.
I am sure, the repetitions will be loved by you, too!
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Read Parry‘s poem The Quilt.