Sunday, August 08, 2010
Another example of the density of language in Colin's poems comes from 'Old Campaigner': "Seasonal fogs drift inland, / tock-tocky beetles genuflect / to tip condensing drops mouthward".
I like the vein of humour in Colin's poems too, the last few lines of his poem 'Hide and Find' made me smile: "Below a grizzled crag I'm checked out / by a falcon, who can see / my inner pigeon".
Colin's background is in science which, I believe, contributes to the sense of precision in his use of language and imagery. My favourite poem in the collection is 'The To-Do List'. Each verse begins with "I must...", following an interesting sequence of things on the narrator's to-do list from purchasing a supply of Post-It notes, beginning a history of the rice cake, arranging the flowers in an alphabet of colour to "I must start to cut you / out of my life". I love the sequence of the poem from the beautiful imagery in the first verse of the walls covered in post-it notes being likened to tree trunks in Mexico "smothered in a million motionless / Monarch butterflies", the intriguing second and third verses of the narrator beginning his history of the rice cake and flower arranging by letters to the slightly diorientating introduction of 'you' in the fourth stanza which then goes on to state "I'll begin with forgetfulness, those little acts of careless negligence" and ends beautifully with - "sooner or later / I'll introduce the closed door, / the unanswered knock, / the separate wing".
Relationships, landscapes and tightly knit language in abundance, an enjoyable collection.