Thursday, 2 April 2020

Something Is In Bloom

Barbara Carey praises Sadiqa de Meijer's new collection, The Outer Wards:
“Deep within every landscape,/ something is in bloom,” Sadiqa de Meijer writes in one poem in her second collection. So it is that the poems themselves are sown with life, bearing vibrant witness to the joys and fears, giddy highs and exhausted lows, of being a mother. In one poem, the Kingston poet addresses her infant daughter: “love, I recalibrated all catastrophes/ when you were born.” Ironically, de Meijer herself falls ill, and a number of the poems express her frustration at not being well enough to care for her daughter. Despite the shadows that at times darken the poems, there’s a luminous clarity to her imagery and striking turns of phrase abound: an open book is a “paper valley of an elsewhere”; the swift passage of time is depicted as “the month enters a chute, strung with rituals.” In one poem, de Meijer writes of “existence distilled.” Her poems themselves are graceful, emotionally resonant distillations of experience.

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