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Brenda Clews Reviews Forecast: “The collection is like a tarot reading. The poems never truly reveal themselves”


forecastPoet and artist Brenda Clews recently reviewed Clara Blackwood’s Forecast (Guernica Editions 2014) on her blog, Rubies in Crystal. In the review, she comments on the central thematic concerns which Blackwood voices throughout the collection, and on Blackwood’s mythic poetic style.

Clews explains that the collection “focuses on delitescent experience. [It] is like a tarot reading. The poems never fully reveal themselves.”

Furthermore, she elaborates on the dichotomy which Blackwood sets up in the collection between the known and the unknown.

“The poems in Forecast are from the perspective of the medium rather than the prophet, a Delphic oracle rather than a mystic eulogizing on divine experience. Being adept means perceiving that the order of things is dependent on what underlies the known, that the construction of reality is stranger than the normally perceived one. The way things are is arbitrary and could change at any moment.”

She stresses that “the poems seep with intuitions of a deeper reality underlying the normative one.”

Clews goes on to explain the connection of Blackwood’s collection with Greek mythology:

“The journey and persona of the poems in Forecast reminded me of Demeter searching for herself in the underworld. And, in fact, Blackwood says in an interview with George Fetherling in Poetry Primer #7: ‘I liken my enmeshment with poetry to the Persephone archetype. She was a naive maiden like myself until Hades (the dark muse) chose her against her will and took her to the underworld. The underworld here being the unconscious where poetic inspiration is drawn’.”

She concludes by calling Forecast “an illuminated feast where mythic worlds reign and their intersections with the concrete world of not just objects but social organization can be intuited through strange co-incidences and through being open to the forces, and to understanding their power.”



Posted in Poetry, Reviews.

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