The extraordinary women and girls celebrated in verse here range from Elizabeth I and Boudicca to Frida Kahlo and Malala Yousafzai. As with all such lists, there are omissions. Extraordinary here tends to mean have been a force for good, so no female murderers, revolutionaries or politicians (excepting suffragettes or civil rights activists). Role models then, really, with an otherwise impressive range across cultures and professions. Each poem is introduced with a factual paragraph about its subject. There isn’t necessarily a problem with writing poems to order. Sometimes it sets a challenge to which a writer can bring all their imagination and craft. And there are poems like that here. But there are also many where you don’t feel that you’ve learnt more about the subject or that the poet has brought anything different to the poem, except perhaps a rhyming scheme. So the more interesting poems to me are the ones where the poets can range a little more widely or reveal something of themselves: Jan Dean’s I Watch the film of Helen Keller, which wonders how Anne Sullivan could bear to use her body as a teaching instrument; Michaela Morgan’s Hunger Strike, which surprisingly sets the formality of middle class dining against the force feeding of a suffragette; and Liz Brownlee’s I am the Very Model of a Modern Girl from Planet Earth which wittily sets out a range of career choices available to the contemporary young woman with thanks to Gilbert and Sullivan.
http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png 0 0 Angie Hill http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png Angie Hill2017-05-05 19:08:002021-06-21 18:10:01Reaching the Stars