Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Review! (Poetry Edition!) - Blood Season by Claire Meadows

Title: Blood Season

Author: Claire Meadows

Genre: Poetry

Amazon: UK - USA

A few starting notes:

I received a free digital review copy of this book from the publisher, Urbane Publications, via NetGalley. NetGalley provides review copies from publishers in exchange for fair and honest reviews.

You may know that I love poetry - and I've been getting back into it more lately.

That said, this collection seemed interesting. Something about it quirked my distracted-toddler-style interest, and I decided to give it a shot.


A poetry collection from Claire Meadows talking passionately about life, love, death, and blood.

Best bits:

Meadows can create imagery in her sleep. Her poems are stuffed with powerful, vivid, imagery - sometimes strikingly stark and raw.

Clearly, she also knows her writing techniques, inside and out.

There's an awareness present throughout this collection of the way in which words weave together to create those strong images she confronts us with time and again.

There's also meaning in buckets for those who like to pick apart metaphors with a fine tooth comb - there are impressive layers to this poetry.

The poet's passion shines through - there's definite feeling throughout.

There's also the slightly uncomfortable but beautifully powerful sub-text of domestic abuse/violence (I'm not sure whether it was intended or not, but this sub-text is most definitely there - whether a metaphor for something else or not.)

Yes, this is going to be problematic for some people - but the raw feeling involved is undoubtedly something to admire.

Not so great bits:

The main problem here, to me, was the cohesion of the collection - or the lack thereof.

I was left really uncertain over whether the speaker (the 'voice' of the poem) was meant to be the same in several places.

Likewise, sometimes it felt like the addressee (the person being talked to) of the poem was the same over several separate poems, and then a detail here or there would throw a discordant note into the mix and confuse me.

This was a problem with the collection arrangement, I think, more than the individual poems. The flow was damaged by the sense of same-but-different in the placement of the poems.

A few poems I didn't like as much of others - but that's a matter of individual preference, and is going to occur in any collection of poems.

Here and there I felt that the images within the poem - though undoubtedly still very vivid - didn't quite gel together into something (and here's that word again) cohesive.

Also, several topics here - specifically the under-tones of abuse and violence - may be distressing to many.

This is a personal thing again - I didn't have a problem with it - but I could completely understand if some of this is too much for some people.


Look, book, me and you? We had some issues, true. But I think we could make this thing between us work.

What do you say? You up for another round? ;)

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