Formal but fluent, the ‘sonnets’ ( ‘soundings’) of this sequence marry cycle and narrative, old and new, secular and sacred, momentary and eternal. This is a strange and immediately familiar book – at its simplest it traces the story of a mother’s “letting-go” her grown children, a daughter’s relocation to the Northern hemisphere, a wedding, shadows of deaths and losses, sparks of joy. It recalls the story of Demeter and Persephone, but goes on from there in immediately accessible South African, contemporary terms. Above all, it celebrates!
Now The World Takes These Breaths
As we have come to expect with Joan Metelerkamp’s work, these poems can be read individually or, more rewardingly, as a body, from cover to cover.