Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Review of 'All the Invisibles' in 'Artemis'

In her All the Invisibles, prizewinning Mandy Pannett offers us poems full of sharply observed details, taking on a variety of themes: change, nature, light, history, colour, place. Her work is stylistically adventurous as in A Traveller from the Ship of Fools Explores Dry Land and the querulous, hard-edged love-poem All the Invisibles, here quoted "Let's make a detour you'd say, find us / a ley-line or two. I was used to this: a sudden // appearance of all the invisibles, something / slanting or something blue, a lattice // of light through a leaded window as you, / my directional compass-rose, would sense // the silences moving the air... " This is lyrical, dreamlike, but as the poem develops, there is a separation, "And I am left / on a shingle beach with nothing but empty / spaces around me and nothing is moving the air." One cannot do justice to this wide-ranging book in such a short notice, but Pannett offers much delight with her questing journeys into other landscapes, other voices, in these close-knit, often surprising poems, held firm by their spare, taut rhythms.

Katherine Gallagher


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