Friday, March 9, 2012

A Review of Ariel Gordon's Hump

Ariel Gordon's Hump was recently reviewed in CV2 (winter 2012). An excerpt of the review is below. A link to CV2 can be found here.

"Ariel Gordon’s Hump is replete with poems that evoke the intricate textures, sounds and colours of nature.  In the opening poem, “Spring in Assiniboine Forest”, the narrator clambers through the moss, roots, mushrooms, spores, roots, and mud to the sound of the bullfrogs’ “balloon-rub chorus”.  The other poems in the section continue delving into the fecundity of the natural world, exploring the shifting seasons and the borders between city and countryside.  The book then moves into the intimate realm with poems flecked with humour.  “Tit Poem” portrays a sister’s feistiness before and after a mastectomy. “Somniloquy” and “Pre-conception” depict the narrator’s tender exasperation at her husband’s vocalizations and snoring that wake her at night."

"Hump’s second section is devoted to the gestational countdown before giving birth, from two months of pregnancy to nine.  The sense of abundance in this section mirrors that of the first, as Gordon carefully layers image after evocative image to vividly convey the sensations of a body irrevocably transitioning into the maternal. For example, in one poem the narrator’s body is described in terms of “loamy curves of battered clay”, and in another poem, it is a “dip & dunk tank, the basin overflowing”. The title of one of my favourite poems in the book, “Eight months: what to expect when you’re expecting”, plays on the title of a popular textbook for expectant mothers..."

"Gordon has already received accolades for the book, including the Aqua Books Lansdowne Prize for Poetry in 2011. Brimming with finely crafted poems that thrum with life and love, Hump is indeed a very promising debut."