- Publisher: George Braziller Inc; Reprint edition (Dec. 1991)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0807612723
- ISBN-13: 978-0807612729
- Product Dimensions: 21 x 14 x 1.1 cm
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,845,776 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Pocket Mirror Paperback – Dec 1991
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
First published in 1967, Janet Frame's poems, so private and so intimate, still feel as if her words have been scratched into my skin, like ink from a needle imprinting a permanent tattoo close to my heart.
Janet Frame's poems open a window into her soul, transporting her reader to the secret, hidden places of her mind and the miraculous natural world of her clear-eyed, expansive vision.
A favorite poem of mine from this collection follows:
The whelk in his shell
growing too cool
crept out in the sun and lying
there as in an oven
was soon cooked and eaten whelk-whole.
It was not man nor woman
drawn from man, was without blood bone or soul
yet as kindred without shell
1t stole my compassion.
As for Janet Frame's pocket mirror ~
"To undeceive the sight a detached instrument like a mirror is
The human senses never speak the truth if they can get away with
an easy lie."
When looking into the pocket mirror, she as well as we have precise, clear sight of our own reflections. And we have vision of the pristine beauty of poetry. How extraordinary!
The now deceased Janet Frame was born in 1924, in Dunedin, New Zealand where she is still very much beloved. In addition to this volume of poetry and several collections of short stories, she was also the author of ten well-received novels. She was called "a witch novelist who stirs plots under a full moon and has various magic powers." The Pocket Mirror: Poems indeed reflects brilliantly Janet Frame's special witch-craftiness with words and language, images and symbols, thoughts and ideas, secrets and dreams.
"Wait! Give me back my pocket mirror. Were it to break
I should have no clear sight, and seven years' bad luck!"
Some critics of Frame's work have argued that the author's best poetry is found embedded in her fiction. I would agree with this sentiment and encourage people interested in her work to turn to the novels before the poems, which Frame herself openly admitted were never as accomplished as she would like them to be.