FCs chapbook: my review [not critique]
I'm not going for poetry critic because I'm a poet, not a poetry critic :-)
Let’s face it, if they could write poetry, they would. But they can't, so they write about it.
So it's just some thoughts after reading it. I spent some time with the book today as well. And here's my opinion:
I received her book in the post yesterday and read it through while I drank my coffee.
I had to re-read the first section, which is a series of poems concerning the theme "inheritance."
This is a selection of poetry that is both extremely easy to read and highly moving. As I told FC in an email: I almost cried.
That section is probably the stand out work, in my opinion. I think this is probably to do with the intense subject matter [death, mourning, remembering the dead etc.].
Although I’ve said my favourite section is the first one: inheritance, my favourite poem presented in this strikingly good-looking chapbook is “Mist”. I don’t want to quote any of the pieces here because I don’t know who has bought the book and who hasn’t and I’d end up quoting the whole thing and then writing my feelings about each line.
The poem, “Mist”, has painted a stunning picture on the inside of my eyelids and it’s illuminated by the rhythm of the work so that I can see it when my eyes are closed and I’m in the dark. And there is a nice wee resolution at the end.
I also want to mention a wee bit about two other poems in the same section as “Mist.” The section is called Tinder. The two poems are: “Sunday” and “Read”
“Sunday” has a glorious twist. I read it about 5 million times because the first time I read it I went: “oh…”
It was a wee surprised exclamation because I took it at face value but then, in the last verse she drops a load of fucking bricks on your head and you realise the true significance of this particular Sunday.
I'll tell you something else I loved about this chapbook: you know how people talk about "finding their voices" and all that other weird crap artists talk about?
Well I never knew what they meant by that until I read Howl & other Poems. One of my favourite poems in that collection is "song", which was written in 1954. It doesn't come near to the more free flowing style Ginsberg developed with Howl, sunflower sutra etc, but it does illustrate what is meant by "finding your voice" when you compare the earlier work in Howl... to the later work. By the way, has anyone else noticed that you can read “song” like you’re having an orgasm? Read it aloud and you build and build and get faster and faster until…
Well, in FC's chapbook I can see a pattern: a definite “voice.” I don't know what it is and I don't really know how to explain it. But, there is a definite firecracker style there. Even the prose piece presented as part of the "inheritance" section.
I think it's an honest confessional style. Firecracker sits you down and says: "alright, I'm going to tell you a story..."
She does this with all of her poetry, even the work that isn't featured in this book. Her work always seems to have some resolution at the end. Just like a good little storyteller.
Firecracker is a genuinely worthwhile read [the chapbook, not the woman, although…]
It’s on my shelf just now, perched in between Keats Selected poetry and the oxford concise dictionary.
The book will stay in my collection forever…unless I ever need some string. It’s something, that, had it been my creation, I would be proud of for a long time. And so should Caryn.
I now plan on buying more work using the Market place thing on lit kicks. Once I get some fucking money together that is.