Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Marilyn Irwin’s above/ground press chapbook, for when you pick daisies, is reviewed in Broken Pencil #54

Roxanne Hathway-Baxter was good enough to review Ottawa poet Marilyn Irwin’s first chapbook, for when you pick daisies (above/ground press, 2010) in Broken Pencil #54 (winter 2012 issue). Thanks, Roxanne! There are a few copies of Irwin’s chapbook available, here. Also, Irwin has a more recent broadsheet poem still available (and posted here), and new work in the eighth issue of ottawater. We eagerly await a second chapbook manuscript, and possibly more…
He loves me, he loves me not. Many ladies who were once little girls remember this old chant from childhood. Simple, and yet, in the eyes of a child, so very telling. Somehow, as the years pile on and relationships grow and falter, love becomes much more complex and unable to be explained in such few words. For when you pick daisies tackles the idea of love (and other subjects) in a more adult and expressive way.

This zine of poetry is simply bound, with a lovely illustration of a half-plucked daisy adorning the cover. Inside, the reader finds 16 short poems covering a range of topics, but often they seem to focus on love.

Sometimes the obscurity of the language in the poems makes the subject matter hard to decipher. Words seem to be thrown together, which makes finding meaning in each poem like finding a needle in a syllabic haystack.

You might not discover how to unravel the complexity of the work in the first read of this zine, but out of this complexity grows linguistic beauty. Some lovely mental images are painted and emotions are inspired by the simple pairing of words.

The poems of for when you pick daisies may sometimes feel confusing and unclear, but also beautiful. They mirror the consciousness felt by someone mired in the mess of love, who understands both its sweetness and its sting.

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