faces places emotional spaces – review by Jen Grigg

posted in: Dome Poets, Poetry | 0

faces, places emotional spaces
Dome Poets 2023

Reviewer: Jen Grigg
11 August 2023

faces, places, emotional spaces is a triptych of lyrical creativity, an eclectic assemblage of poetry. This anthology is a depiction of ‘little stories’, of characters past and present, geographies and journeys from cosmos to ocean, from familiar places and those we dip into randomly, far and beyond. This poetic cabinetry showcases relatable moods and moments of despair, fear and daring, melancholy, grief and loss, tragedy, promise and hope and the emotional tugs our environment evokes. Forms are as diverse as the poems with a smattering of haiku, villanelle and less formal composition, poems of a few lines to a few pages. Solemnity is interspersed with humour and whimsy. Tone ranges from the funny to the depressing, the reflective to the nostalgic and everything in between!

Faces of family and the familiar are interspersed with meditations on identities from fantasy, mythology and history. This includes tales of known and less familiar characters of glimpses into our colonial past. Features of the natural world include the provocative and playful persona of a simple pear…

“Someone will pluck her ‘fore the night
Coquette, she simpers on her stalk,
A luscious pome that’s ripe to touch”

… to the sinister appearance of a “fox” as….
“the red beast appears.
He lives nearby with his family”

As you read, you journey to many places such as caravan parks and gardens …

“of a flaking gnome squatting amidst mounds of orange gazania” …

are drawn to Australiana and our natural environment of termite mounds, mallee dust, swamps, caves and beyond to oceans and skies.

You travel to the sights and sounds of vibrant lands of “colourful spice baskets” and “scooter horns – constant – constant – horns of scooters”, construct cities with “crane birds swinging talons” and even take cosmic joyrides to where finally, you rest as “Nightfall on the patio”.

Connections of mood and melancholy and an array of emotional spaces are captured in relatable childhood friendships in juxtapositions with) fear and daring, grief and hope, pesky annoyance and overwhelming anger.

You are invited to contemplate where
“my being knows no place on earth to go” to places where

“I have travelled, wonder filled and wide
With imagination my sole guide”

To glimpse grief and loss …

“I feel the shadow
Of her unfortunate life
Pass over me”

To be lifted by suggestions of hope and renewal …

“I learned to take cuttings, to nurture new growth
And to apply this practice to living”

Some poems seem not content to be confined but capture unifying threads of mood, character and place.

“My life spans out inside these aging eyes,
When leaves bring back so many memories”

And in this haunting haiku …

“Wide white moon
But behind human fences
The darkness remains”

If you are new to poetry or deem it too challenging, then this anthology by local poets is an accessible starting point to nudge your interest. You will discover a phrase, a poem in this anthology to relate to. Be amused, educated and moved. I hope you relish the words on the pages that are not too ‘clever’ or obtuse and appreciate the scope of creativity of our region’s scribes who entice you into the literary world that is poetry.

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