... are how disturbing I find the poems in this compact collection (but not in a bad way). I can see why The Zoo Father was much talked about when it came out. There's a fusion of personal mythology with a wider mythology which really works: it's scary in places and has you asking lots of questions, not just of the text, but of yourself too. It makes me excited by the possibilities of poetry: what you can do with material when you're not prepared to just go with ordinary face value.
It also makes me question what I'm doing in my own work - no bad thing. My own stuff has gotten steadily darker lately, and I was wondering if I was going the right way. I'm a bit obsessed with people who are fallen and implements of torture and it's all very heavy going at times. I know I haven't finished mining the present seam I'm excavating, and I can see that in Petit's work, the way that her themes continued into a follow-up collection, The Huntress.
I'm very excited by the pamphlet I got, The Wounded Deer, (only £3.00!) which will be developed into a full 50 poem collection, What The Water Gave Me, expected next year from Seren. I think that Pascale captures not only Frida Kahlo's voice, but the way that she made art, very well. I have a real soft spot for Frida's work, ever since I came across it in an article in the Sunday Times magazine a good few years ago. I like the allegory and symbology that Kahlo uses, which is why her work makes a good subject for Petit to work with.
If you like the sounds of these, go over and check out Pascale Petit's site, there are sample poems you can read, including the award winning The Strait-Jackets.
Now, I'm off to mind this lamb tagine I'm cooking. I'm so sick of salads!