Thursday, September 04, 2008

Life has been rather busy with little boy, highland games and general family business. So not much writing going on here, I've got plenty fragments that don't yet know how to come together. Plus I've recently become addicted to ebay!

Some thoughts on Rachel Fox!

I recently ordered Rachel Fox's first book of poems 'More about the Song'. Rachel has had plenty of in-depth reviews of the book so here are just a few thoughts of my own. Having read the collection right through I'm convinced that Rachel Fox doesn't live on the east coast of Scotland but has smuggled herself into my house through her book. So strong is the personality and voice in these poems that reading them is like having her recite them to you in person.
These poems are a change from my usual poetry reading and are especially welcome because it is nice to read outwith the usual. Quite often while reading the poems I imagined that they were written by Emily Dickinson had she lived in the 21st century: musically they are very simiar and also in their quirkiness, humour and use of puns.

These are poems of and for our times, there are plenty of pop culture references and surprising poems culture specific to our times. I have sometimes wondered what would happen to my internet profile if I died and lo and behold there's a poem in here about exactly that! Reading these poems constantly made me smile amd on the back of the book instead of a blurb there is a short poem entitled 'Exposing', with the first line "Does a blurb ever lie"!
There is a breadth of themes in this collection mostly disguised as light-humour with an uncomfortableness breaking through. In a poem about a homeless girl (City Girl), the girl sticks her fingers into exhaust-pipes and licks them clean.
My favorite poem in the collection is 'Let me be your Fridge Magnet'. A love poem, and as the author says, as much about the author's relationship with writing. With permission from the author here is the poem.

Let me be your Fridge Magnet

Let me slip into your home
Like a leaflet for a loan
Hidden in a free newspaper
Or supermarket circular
I'm not proud

Oh how I'd love to be your Baby on Board
Suckered on to your smoothness
I'd feel every bump in your road
Know exactly how much air was in your tyres
If you let me

I could stick faster still
If you'd let me be your fridge magnet
I'd hang on to your cool place
So perky, so keen
I wouldn't let you down

I'd be superficial for you, gladly
Cling to any surface - as long as it was yours
Then I'd ask softly 'do you understand now?
Do you get the message?
Do you read me at all?'


Dave King said...

I haven't bought Rachel's book yet. I would have done so, for sure, but your review just makes it surer. Just the sort of review a poet would wish for.

Sorlil said...

You'll certainly enjoy it dave!

Rachel Fox said...

And, oh, the ridiculous pleasure of seeing my little book in your 'current reading' along with Eliot and Hughes and Hugo!

Thanks for the great write-up...we often have very different tastes in poetry, you and I, so this one means a lot!


Sorlil said...

your welcome, I also love the postcards idea

Rachel Fox said...

I started with the postcards for lots of give me the nerve to do a book, because I love the idea of poems heading off on their own and flying off around the world in mailbags (going all the places I don't get to these days!) and also because I have quite a lot of short poems that are suitable for cards. I got really great feedback from the cards (the Scottish Poetry Library stocking them early on really helped my confidence) so I'm really glad I did them. Also I started as I meant to go on and used all recycled materials with the cards - I'm glad I stuck to that. You hear a lot about what we 'should' do to go green - sometimes it's good to just DO it!
x you haven't changed it can I just tell people that 'City girl' isn't really about anybody homeless...well, it might be now but it wasn't when I wrote it!

Sorlil said...

they really are great, good way to spread poetry to non-poetry reading folk, I think I'll stick one on my fridge!