Three Poems by Hannah Sullivan

3.5 out of 5 stars

Hannah Sullivan’s debut collection, Three Poems, has unsurprisingly enough got three poems within. The first is set in New York, and is about the experience of living there compared to the perception of what it was going to be like. The second poem concerns a move to the other side of America and is full of disconnected but repetitive themes. The final poem is about birth, life and death.

Three sooty wraiths
Fade on a bridge like figures on a vase

This a debut collection isn’t like a conventional collection of poetry, the poems are mix of short two line elements and longer more story like sections. Her writing flows from a tautness in certain parts to a fluidity in others, as she writes about sex, history, politics and place all seen from a very personal perspective.

Now nothing will ever be the same again
And everything will be as it always was

I did like this, mostly because it is not conventional, the short story form is mixed with short bursts of poetry, before longer passages return. I am still not sure that I get poetry still, I find it very difficult to review some poets work. However, I am not going to stop reading it as the mastery that Sullivan and other poets have over language is quite something.

Three Favourite Poems
Well, there are only three in here…
You, Very Young in New York
Repeat Until Time
The Sandpit after Rain

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  1. Interesting!! I’ve always really enjoyed live/stage poetry, HEARING it, but generally find it quite difficult to read on the page. That said, it’s been really interesting to see poets stretching the bounds of the genre lately, incorporating prose passages and so on as it sounds Sullivan does here. I might not have come across this one if not for this review, thank you!

    • Paul

      I have never heard poetry read live, just the odd occasional radio programme

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