JEANNE MACDONALD: WHITE LIES ARE HARMLESS
5 Bentinck Road
Newcastle upon Tyne
ISBN 0 9548186 0 1
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This page last updated: 11th December 2007.
|JEANNE MACDONALD: WHITE LIES ARE HARMLESS|
This is a neat job in perfect-bound A6 containing over 40 poems in clear type. The acknowledgment list shows that there have been useful hits in magazines and anthologies.
Obviously older than the youthful cover photo, as revealed by FRIDAY NIGHT IN NEWCASTLE, 1957, let it not detract from her poetry.
In just a few poems I found a whiff of dichotomy or perhaps unusual difference between the 'young at heart' tone and the more serious implications conjured up by the poetry. GLORY is such a poem:
I've escaped by a razor edge the addictions of alcohol and nicotine, now in later years find pleasure from my use of the blade.Although in PLACENTA PRAEVIA, emotion barely hidden, tone and implication are well knitted in a successful poem which I quote in full:
Behind the frosted glass of the bathroom door I listen to the trolley as it trundles into the ward and I compose myself pouring water from my sponge like a watering can over your growing. Grey mist clings to the mirror, and condensation streams down the tongue and groove. As I climb from the bath my belly slumps and your shape set in a perfect mould protected only by my skin, startles me. I hesitate before I whisper the words — today — the hour— the knife.I did not spot any 'white lies' to fit with the title, but many of the individual poems such as HER CIRCULAR KNITTING NEEDLE and I LOVE A LASSIE stood out.
Here are no deep reflective philosophical thoughts, but bits of life and incidents told somewhat dispassionately, making up a reasonably successful (first?) collection. One might look forward to the poet proceeding into longer poems with more dramatic build-up.
|reviewer: Eric Ratcliffe.|