Boudicca & Co by Jane Holland
I recently ordered Jane Holland's book of poems Boudicca & Co after reading one of the poems from it that she had published on her blog Raw Light. I managed to steal a bit of quiet time over the last few days to read it and I thoroughly enjoyed it, will definitely find myself going back to the poems time and time again as you do with good poetry.
The book is packed with 58 poems and split into 4 sections. What struck me immediately was the density of imagery and choice language that prevails through every line and the overwhelming sense of completeness with every single poem so that each one could stand alone independant of the sequence they inhabit.
There is a rich variety of subject matter - from Love Song for a Gargoyle (which has 'rough hoof' and 'tongue' in the same line and makes my mouth feel all funny every time I read it) to In Praise of Cannabis!
The poems are full of great images, I particulary like "A black rain of hand-grenades, / men down like dominoes " (First Assault) and "They lift you out through your necklace / of cord, slippery and indignant" (Twins).
The poems are engaging, thoroughly enjoyable, some serious and some full of fun but the poems of the final Boudicca sequence beg to be read - each poem throws you onto the next one which, like an exciting novel, you can't put down until you've read to the end.
So definitely a worthwhile read.