Jabberwocky 7: Poetry
Edited by Sean Wallace and Erzebet YellowBoy
Reviewed by Alexandra Seidel
Jabberwocky 7 brings to you four pieces of high quality: two poems and two stories. In here, only the poems will be reviewed.
Charlotte Hussey’s poem ‘Daemon Lover’ begins with a quote from Geoffrey of Monmouth’s ‘History of the Kings of Britain’ that refers to the magical conception of Merlin by an invisible spirit or demon. These four lines are then woven into Hussey’s poem, marking the end of each of its four stanzas, and so linking the poem to the Merlin story but at the same time setting it apart, for this is a love poem at its heart, not a poem about demons or magicians.
Hussey speaks of the daring in love, the leap of faith or hope an invisible lover may demand with only an ever uncertain outcome. Her imagery is clean and clear, yet luscious: “a voice mesmeric as moonlight forcing / buds vining up the green trellis / to burst and float towards ecstasy, / moist petalled, huge and white.”
‘Drifting against the Shoals of Memory’ by Berrien C. Henderson comes to you in two parts, one of which feels like a near life experience while the other is an encounter with death. Henderson layers myth and strong, concise language with images of summer and love and of longing, creates a world that is the mindscape of his narrator.
The poem feels like it starts at the outside, casting off things as it goes until it ends in an emptiness, a feeling of rebirth. ‘Drifting against the Shoals of Memory’ might leave you with a taste of catharsis, Reader, yet even if it fails to convey this, I have no doubt that it will draw you in like any good tale, like any well-loved, familiar tale will do.