Gifts the Mole by Wendy Pratt
Gifts the Mole Gave Me is a slim volume of 50 poems by Wendy Pratt, published in 2017. They tackle a wide variety of subjects, and are not easy. All of them are free form, lines are of irregular meter, verses vary in length, and there are few rhymes. So far, so good.
A few stood out for me. 'Learning to Cry Quietly' captures the pain of child bereavement. 'Fuck You' charts the slow but steady deliberate downfall of addiction. 'Unconditional' is a lament for a dead pet, deserted and now called to mind when it’s too late. 'Search of the Perfect Purse' shows how a simple object can bring to mind times long gone.
Only one poem (The Art of Breaking Glass) rhymes, and it’s about the only one that has a recognizable meter (iambic tetrameters) but just when you think you’ve found the rhythm and settled into it, you’re wrong footed. It’s well done.
Several of the poems here I didn’t “get”, but everyone will have their own opinions and favourites, and will most likely relate to ones that didn’t do anything for me at all.
Although I found a lot of the poems hard work, it’s perfectly possible that in a year’s time I will have changed my selection and/or understanding completely, and on that basis will dip into them periodically.