I am moved by Lady Percy 's expression of love. CLICK HERE - see if you agree.
Otherwise my novels, short stories, verse, family, music, memories, vulgar interests, detestations,
responses, apologies. I hold posts to 300 words* having found less is better than more.
I re-comment on comments and re-re-re-comment on re-re-comments.
* One exception: short stories.

Friday, 15 July 2016

Personal trailer

I bought Marly Youmans’ The Foliate Head because I’ve liked other poems she’s written. She wears her wide experience of literature lightly and I know from her blog, The Palace at 2 am, she has things to say which interest me.

I am not qualified to make collective judgments on Marly as a poet. Instead I’ve chosen one poem which overlaps my life. Here’s a personal and – no doubt – fallible trailer to the main attraction. I responded to the title, The Foliate Head; it supports my impression that Marly enjoys words. Say “foliate” aloud and you’ll understand.

Interregnum concerns a woman apart from the world, through illness or old age or perhaps both. She is said to be “bereft”, which often implies hopelessness but here becomes a word lovely in itself and temporary in meaning since the deprivation is not continuous. The observer asks:

The knot of marriage, will it hold?
Against such cumberings as these?

and offers grounds for optimism.

I am only intermittently a fan of “poetic” language. I much prefer poems fashioned from quotidian events and words. With Interregnum it was the declarative simplicity of the opening lines:

You are alone inside the dark,
Your head is bent as if in prayer ...

that drew me in and if I have any argument it is that “muse” (as in “Sometimes the muse is there to sing”) may be over-freighted. Beyond that, optimism becomes an almost enviable tranquillity with the woman, ruled by Old Winter, drowsing towards the onset of Christmas as her powers “curl in sleep”.

If “elegiac” hadn’t become debased, it would describe the tone of Interregnum, except that the poem is not static. The phrase “the minnow-dart of words” equally applies to the surrounding lines.

The Foliate Head is presently on offer. Click HERE.


Rouchswalwe said...

Oh, this book is on my list! I can't wait to delve into it.

Roderick Robinson said...

RW (zS): There's more of course. But I felt it was better to concentrate on just one - admirable - poem than spread my reaction thinly over several others within my allotted 300 words.

marly said...

Thank you. It's always lovely when a slightly older book is brought forward into the light!