Consoled by language

Sarah Holland-Batt’s third collection
by
June 2022, no. 443
Buy this book

The Jaguar by Sarah Holland-Batt

University of Queensland Press, $24.99 pb, 144 pp

Consoled by language

Sarah Holland-Batt’s third collection
by
June 2022, no. 443

I first encountered Sarah Holland-Batt’s poem ‘The Gift’ in The New Yorker. It begins, ‘In the garden my father sits in his wheelchair / garlanded by summer hibiscus / like a saint in a seventeenth-century cartouche’ – an unremarkable opening, I thought, to a poem of personal anecdote, a genre too ubiquitous among our contemporaries. Rereading the poem in the context of her third collection, The Jaguar, I became acclimated to her style and manner, and admired the alertness of its verbal performance. If the new book remains a personal memoir, narrating the devastating illness and death of her father, it is also charged throughout with a strong writer’s intelligence and vulnerability. ‘I will carry the gift of his death endlessly,’ she writes, ‘every day I will know it opening in me.’

David Mason reviews 'The Jaguar' by Sarah Holland-Batt

The Jaguar

by Sarah Holland-Batt

University of Queensland Press, $24.99 pb, 144 pp

Buy this book

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