In Her Shambles
by Parker, Elizabeth | Literature & literary studies
Paperback | 64 pages
Spikey, provocative, declamatory, these energetic poems from Elizabeth Parker, In Her Shambles, her debut collection from Seren, sweep the reader along through their narratives, quite literally so in ‘Rivers’ where friends and family members take on the various characteristics of different bodies of water. Parker likes to extend her symbols and metaphors beyond the short lyric, her poems are often more than two pages, giving them a discursive, meditative feel that contrasts well with her lively verb-rich syntax. She is as good at observing a casual conversation as she is in delving deeply and more intensely into close relationships. Notable here are her ‘slant’ love poems as well as her poem about a father prone to ‘rescues’ from the ‘Barely-there weight of the pipistrelle/ he scooped from the outdoor loo’ to his daughters ‘calling to him from their cities.’ In Her Shambles is a delightful and distinctive debut from Elizabeth Parker.