PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
News and Notes
Digital Access to PN Review
Access the latest issues, plus back issues of PN Review with Exact Editions For PN Review subscribers: to access the PN Review digital archive via the Exact Editions app Exactly or the Exact Editions website, you will first need to know your PN Review ID number. read more
PN Review Prize winners announced
Carcanet Press and PN Review are delighted to announce the winners of the first ever PN Review Prize. read more
Most Read... Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Drew MilneTom Raworth’s Writing
‘present past improved’: Tom Raworth’s Writing

(PN Review 236)
Alejandro Fernandez-OsorioPomace (trans. James Womack)
(PN Review 236)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Kei MillerIn the Shadow of Derek Walcott
1930–2017

(PN Review 235)
Kate BinghamPuddle
(PN Review 236)
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
Gratis Ad 1
Gratis Ad 2
Next Issue Peter Scupham at 85: a celebration Contributions by Anne Stevenson, Robert Wells, Peter Davidson, Lawrence Sail

This review is taken from PN Review 239, Volume 44 Number 3, January - February 2018.

Cover of A Book of Follies
Honeycomb

Kathryn Daszkiewicz, A Book of Follies (Shoestring Press) £10.00
A folly can mean an ornamental building, merely decorative, but built to suggest a purpose. It can also mean an attempt at something that is doomed to failure. Kathryn Daszkiewicz’s A Book of Follies is not the latter. But the way the poems in her third collection shift in atmosphere as you enter them resembles the deceptivity of a folly. The opening of her poem ‘Elegy’ leads us to expect a narrative:

Cymbals crashed like waves
while […] a guitar
floated the big white bird
across our screens each Thursday
for at least a month that winter.

But soon the imagery of the poem takes over any story, the waves of the opening line rising to submerge the speaker’s recollection:

the current
was already turning
treacherous with hooks
and it was ghosting its way to the depths.

‘The Nine Lives of my Lover’ begins, ‘He’s quite oblivious to the fact / that in my eyes he is a cat’. This jaunty, limerick-like opening soon gives way to implications of abuse – ‘How is it he // keeps coming back from the dead / end alleys he leads me down / looking for another place to sink / his claws?’ The misleading line-break at ‘dead’ reflects the duplicity of the poem, as well as its speaker, who hides from her lover their imminent separation. Triumphantly she announces in the conclusion, ‘he’s failed to sense that something is amiss. // Now that the number ...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image