Review: The Lilac Cellar by Diane Moore

2015 Reading Challenge. No, 37. A Book with a Colour in the Title.

Luckily my favourite element of this book in the title, it’s a luscious placement of  delicate darkness, which throws the reader right into grip of the poetry. The collection is described as being ‘situated in the complex film-like zone between extreme, pure reality – and only a dream…’ and interesting description of reality as pure, that in fact in being pure it becomes abstract. The collection follows the narrator through a series of events from loves lost, motherhood, death and the familiar ups and down’s of life.

The authors own introduction is an interesting concept of poetic.  Described as ‘Poems of an anguished Winter, the expression of a woman’s self-doubt, fifty days of immediate (non)-events and writing’ setting the tone from the offset. Explicitly stating that the poems take place in non-events tricks the reader into finding events, from a writers perspective Moore is not using time specific triggered events as inspiration for her work, instead she is allowing the rollercoaster of her life to wash over her and out into her work. A Woman’s self-doubt is another interesting concept, the poetry in this collection I would describe with feminine imagery, coming from a definite space of cultural stereotyping and oppression.

Noteable poems include Poem for Alla Pugacheva, opening with ‘It is a melody played over a thousand times, / captured in the lilac mist / emerging from a metro station’, which ties together a history of imagery with Ezra Pound’s In a Station of the Metro. A synthetic journey through non-events. The use of colour in this collection is beautiful, such as ‘my final tear of overdosed cyan’ from Unearthed Love and Loss by using the cyan colour specifically it brings the language of photography or cinematography. The collection comes from a place of extreme reality in the sense that reality captured becomes hyperealistic.

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