DOREEN KING: CARAWAY
12 Eliot Vale
ISBN 0 9545630 6 9
£4.50 [$8 US]
DOREEN KING: SEA OF SKY
East Bank Wingland
UK ISBN 978 1 903746 67 7
A subsequent collection is THE GIRL WHO SAW FAIRIES (Opran ISBN 978 184423 012 9)
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This page last updated: 13th October 2008.
|DOREEN KING: CARAWAY|
On first impressions CARAWAY is an eerie little book. It is just small enough to pop into your pocket, which is a good thing — all poetry needs time to be absorbed properly. However, reading through this small volume leaves the reader almost with a sense of voyeurism. It is as though the reader has been allowed to look through the keyholes of various rooms, not just in the physical world that King inhabits, but in the world of her mind's eye.
The collection includes a selection of haiku that use the traditional season/nature prescription.
deep winter the red star of a helicopterHowever the reader also encounters flashes from the physical world:
on the doorstep of the empty house a cobwebbed catThis incorporates a subtle element of imagination both on the part of the writer and the reader. 'the cobwebbed cat' can only be read as such, through the previous line the 'empty house' allowing the time for the reader's imagination to take off.
King's own thoughts subtly exude at times from haiku such as:
plenty of time. we nibble caraway bread into the nightThe expression is just nimble enough to provide the jump from 'time' to 'into the night,' giving the reader the sense of mice in the night and all their associated store of night time folklore.
This collection needs careful savouring on the part of the reader. Much living is encapsulated in it.
|reviewer: Barbara Smith.|
|DOREEN KING: SEA OF SKY|
Poems of love, loss and mourning fill this delightful collection of tanka in which everything reminds the author of that loss, and of her own mortality:
so carefully our lives are swept together today the wind takes all my leavesThe collection starts in sunbeams and ends in moonlight — in fact, the moon is a recurring motif throughout this series of poems:
i never knew unrequited love could be like this: a stream of moonlight through closed curtainsJust occasionally, Doreen King plays with the tanka form in a way that brings you up short, as in this example, in which it veers slightly into concrete poetry, delivering a killer punch while doing so:
the cat squeezes in between the wall and the shed a narrow path faces me alsoHub Editions produce excellent little booklets, of which this is a good example — the poems are arranged neatly, two to a page, apart from the final tanka, which is allowed a page to itself. Sadly, the cover and title-page artist is uncredited, which leads me to think it must be by Doreen herself.
|reviewer: John Francis Haines.|