i had given my head
a fantastic crack
let something out
let something in
the moment, taken is Jennifer Compton’s eleventh book of poetry. At this late stage she has yielded to the absolute lure of eidectic memory. That is – ‘relating to or denoting images having unusual vividness and detail as if actually visible.’ And there is the pleasure in poetry for her. The damage, the drama, the tableau, the tall tale and true. It must be knocked out of true. There are rules.
‘In her eleventh book of poetry, we hear Jennifer Compton at the top of her game. She brings her customary blend of voices – acerbic, droll, vulnerable, specific, visceral, suddenly tender – as tools to work with sharply described images, with the raw materials of memories and moments in time that unfold with stark insight. These are powerful and insistent poems, reminding us how the exquisite collaboration of the imagination and the craft of the poetic can provide such important reflections on the complex business of living, experiencing, and losing.’
‘the moment, taken is an insightful collection of poems that congregate as finely-crafted thought, of thought within thought. Jen’s playful, and at times mordant, tone shifts between the past and the present, re-interpreting and deftly undercutting both. These poems took me to the nub of things, even as they made me smile. ‘
Read a review of the moment taken in Landfall (NZ) here.