This playful poetry collection takes fairy tales and folklore as a theme, but — as in those tales — it makes magical leaps, refusing to be restrained. Amid poems that meander in a fun but stream-of-conscious way, denying the reader literal meaning, there are lines that — like Zen koan — slap the reader in the face for trying to rationally calculate a meaning. (An example that stuck with me is, “candles are dying to see me naked.”)
The poetess is clearly a word-lover, and occasionally makes bold choices of verbiage, sending me to the dictionary for words like “oubliette.” Though I must say there was always a nice pay-off. These weren’t words chosen solely for sound quality, they invariably represented evocative or profound ideas. (e.g. The aforementioned example, “oubliette” is “a secret dungeon with access only via a trapdoor in the ceiling.”)
Lest I make the collection sound impenetrable (if fun,) I’d say it just requires a certain surrender to whatever it kindles in the reader.
I immensely enjoyed reading this collection. It’s fun. Even when it’s taking on serious topics, which it does, it doesn’t take itself too seriously and it’s all the more effective fore it.
I’d highly recommend poetry readers give this one a try.