This Is Not a Rescue is the eagerly-awaited debut collection from Emily Blewitt. These poems move in various registers, keyed to their subject-matter. There are pieces that take a playful approach to the author?s native Wales (?How to Explain Hiraeth to an Englishman?, ?How to Marry a Welsh Girl?) which resist clich? by subverting our expectations. Similarly, there are several sharp, satirical poems about modern office life; these paint a familiar scene, redolent of boredom and lechery (?When I Think of Bald Men?, ?The Question?).
The author?s coolly intelligent wit is to the fore in ?Devouring Jane?, which updates Jane Austen?s heroes for a 21st-century Elizabeth Bennet. There are also a number of instructional poems, survival guides for the modern heroine: ?Woman Poet?, ?Self-Defence?, ?Things My Dance Teacher Used to Say?. These contrast with some intensely personal lyrics that touch on childhood trauma, on depression, on sexual and domestic violence (?When in Recovery?, ?Sometimes I Think of Chapel?, ?Forgiveness?). The revealing honesty of these pieces makes for compelling reading.
There are also poems inspired by popular culture, for a TV and internet-saturated age: ?The Walking Wed?, ?On Watching Paranormal Witness?, ?Boba Fett and the Sarlacc?.
Perhaps most striking, however, are the number of startlingly beautiful love poems: ?The Philobrutist?, ?I Threw Myself at You?, ?We Broke Up?, ?Navigation Points?. Often a poem will initially seem to be about a landscape or an animal ? say, a bird (?Honeyguide?) ? but this ostensible subject matter is a mere prelude to subtle declarations of passion, of yearning, of desire.
Also here are two sequences: one inspired by crows, and the other by a favourite cat. The author?s appealingly wry, thoughtful manner, a delightfully circuitous wit, and her pointed intelligence, make this book one of the best and most entertaining debuts you are likely to read thi
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