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Loop of Jade

by Sarah Howe

A trinket box with twin lids inspires one of these poems and serves as a metaphor for the whole collection, written in a variety of narrative structure. Vignettes from myth, ancient proverbs, tradition and memoir form a mesmerising contemplation on themes of transition and duality, blurring the boundaries of time, place and cultural identity. Worth returning for multiple readings to unwrap the intricate layers of meaning in this fine collection.

Extract

More a midge really, flower-pressed: pent
in this hinged spread of my undergrad
Shakespeare. Down the page, a grey smudge
tinged with a rusty penumbra, like blood -
mine or its? Two sheer wings, stilled mid-word,
trace out a glyph in a strange alphabet.

From That from a long way off look like flies

Parallels

Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine
Beauty/Beauty by Rebecca Perry
 

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