Customer Review

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Have no doubts, this is the real deal, 12 Jan 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Brink (Paperback)
Thank goodness for a debut poetry collection that isn't trying to prove itself so desperately that it's leaking clever-cleverness from every seam. The Brink is a small but nigh-perfectly formed group of deceptively quiet poems that have that all-important power to linger in the mind long after reading.
There are pieces you might call 'nature poems', for want of a better description, but in Jacob Polley's world, nature is no passive backdrop or two-dimensional prettification: it's a living, breathing, awkward, stealthy presence which constantly threatens to tip into the human world in a distinctly un-natural way. Again and again the inanimate becomes dynamic, even anthropomorphized: In 'Salvage' a house becomes a skeleton; in 'The Boast' snow 'crushes', 'buries', and 'blasts' everything it touches. And in 'The Snag', a tender love poem, nature is left stuttering and stalling in the wake of a person even more impressive.
'Declaration' is a fantastic poem that somehow seems written by a much older poet - wise, assured, dealing with the big stuff in the best way, by looking at the details. 'Saturday Matinee' and 'Snow' are examples of the kind of poem which will change the way you'll see things around you forever. After reading Polley's spot-on, just-right descriptions of the experiences of sitting in a cinema waiting for a film to start, and of looking up at falling snow, I can't imagine experiencing those things without calling those words back to mind.
This kind of freshness (without the souring taint of cleverness) doesn't come around that often. Buy this book straightaway, and buy it for your friends. You won't regret it.
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3.7 out of 5 stars (7 customer reviews)
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