Slate Petals by Anthony Etherin

4 out of 5 stars

A copy of this was provided free of charge from the publisher in return for an honest review.

I haven’t been reading poetry for very long so each book that I pick up from all manner of poets is a discovery of what is possible. A lot of the poems that I have read this year have varied from the classics like Heaney to more up to date material from contemporary poets. For me the joy of poetry is the way that the author can extract the most amount of meaning from the fewest words; I try to read each poem as it stands too rather than having to extract the meaning from every word.

They have all followed similar patterns too, but then I picked up Slate Petals. This is unlike any other poetry collection that I have read before. There are poems that are images, I Leave Torn is a series of images of torn letters rearranged into a neat shape, Marionette Noir a.m. is a musical notation and Noir of Orion is the constellations arranged in a series of different forms.

There are regular forms and stanza too, but Etherin uses form, structure and layout in a quite unique way, for example, those that have been typeset to mimic the subject matter of the poem. I particularly liked the poems within poems that used subtly different font colours. If you want a poetry collection that will challenge everything that you thought possible this is a good place to start.

Three Favourite Poems
Winter Solstice
Early Sun

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  1. Liz Dexter

    I admire your commitment to reading poetry. I struggle with it, even with my English degree, though I’m enjoying Maya Angelou’s works at the moment.

    • Paul

      I am quite happy to read poetry, it is just reviewing is always a struggle. I failed English O level as you may have been able to work out from my reviews…

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