n New Coin Poetry - Now the world takes these breaths, Joan Metelerkamp : review

Volume 50, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0028-4459



In an article published a number of years ago ('The paper city: women, writing and experience'), poet and critic Helen Kidd speaks about a variety of feminist poetics "based on observations of how women interact together and how, in conversation, threads are dropped, picked up again, sentences unfinished and then reformulated later on", which are derived from those "creatively used moments which women find for themselves feeding babies at dawn, between flights of stairs at dusk .... or all the other varieties of making that accompany domestic moments... ." This is, in my opinion, a useful prism through which to begin viewing to the poetry of Joan Metelerkamp. Even as her style does shift and evolve between collections, such a constant weaving of themes and shuttling between connections can be seen in the shifting patterns and reiterations in her poems. These interweavings are sometimes fraught, sometime radiant, but always ineluctable. The subject matter of individual poems may sometimes make this more obvious, as in the poem 'Giving away' in this collection; where the actual task of sewing is described in minute particulars.

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