Heels on the throat of song

Exploring the limits of poetry’s expressivity
by
August 2022, no. 445

languish by Marion May Campbell

Upswell Publishing, $24 pb, 103 pp

Book Cover 2 Small

And to Ecstasy

by Marjon Mossammaparast

Upswell Publishing, $24.99 pb, 88 pp

Heels on the throat of song

Exploring the limits of poetry’s expressivity
by
August 2022, no. 445

The title of Marion May Campbell’s third poetry collection, languish, conjures ideas of laziness, daydream, failure to make progress, ennui, lack of enthusiasm, anhedonia. Campbell’s poetry is concerned with the excitement of language, but also its debasement. Several reviewers have commented on the work’s intertextuality (Campbell often employs compositional strategies such as parody, allusion, calque). Always the audience or reader is integral to shaping the text. For Campbell, importantly, the unsaid or unquestioned are as important as collaged lyric or contemporary language trace, as seen in these lines from the first poem in the collection, ‘speechless’:

the big print men shimmer in as
the luxury of our exquisite unsaid

develops over centuries from the filigree
we grope in the anticipatory susurration

fricatives sizzle somewhere for us
plosives plonk & roll like whiskered seals

amused in reef pools & listen as
the nasals find their flutes

we trust in our long withheld power
verbs that’ll paint us in

Jennifer Harrison reviews 'languish' by Marion May Campbell and 'And to Ecstasy' by Marjon Mossammaparast

languish

by Marion May Campbell

Upswell Publishing, $24 pb, 103 pp

Book Cover 2 Small

And to Ecstasy

by Marjon Mossammaparast

Upswell Publishing, $24.99 pb, 88 pp

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