Rebecca's Reviews > In the Flesh

In the Flesh by Adam O'Riordan
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really liked it
bookshelves: poetry, read-via-edelweiss

O’Riordan’s debut collection was published in the UK in 2010 and won a Somerset Maugham Award; in December it will be released in America for the first time. My favorite poems were about Victorian Manchester, 1910s suffragettes and the Wordsworths, this last based on the author’s year in residence at their Lake District cottage. I also liked “The Corpse Garden” – about the outdoor forensic lab in Knoxville, Tennessee – and a couple of multi-part poems that seem to enliven family history.

It’s the vocabulary and alliteration that make these poems; there are only a handful of rhyming couplets. The later poems interested me less, especially a couple of subtly erotic ones that rely on clichéd symbols like oysters.

Overall favorite lines, from the start of “Manchester”:

Queen of the cotton cities,
nightly I piece you back into existence:

the frayed bridal train your chimneys lay
and the warped applause-track of Victorian rain.

You’re the blackened lung whose depths I plumb,
the million windows and the smoke-occluded sun.
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Reading Progress

September 24, 2015 – Started Reading
September 24, 2015 – Shelved
September 24, 2015 – Shelved as: poetry
September 24, 2015 – Shelved as: read-via-edelweiss
September 27, 2015 – Finished Reading

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