PAM THOMPSON: SHOW DATE AND TIME
The Poetry Business
Bank Street Arts
32-40 Bank Street
ISBN 1 902382 84 6
visit the website of The Poetry Business
Web design by
This page last updated: 28th June 2008.
|PAM THOMPSON: SHOW DATE AND TIME|
SHOW DATE AND TIME was a first stage winner in the Poetry Business Book and Pamphlet Competition in 2005. It is a creative collection of keenly observed moments. The poet picks fragments of time from her canon of experience and presents them like carefully mounted specimens for us to inspect at our leisure, allowing the reader to share her thoughts as they will. But there are no butterflies here. All is sharply focussed by the writer's tell it as it is no nonsense style.
The collection opens with MORNING EARLY (HIGHLIGHTS)
I give you the Black Bank pub; firkins stacked in a yard; in the air, rainwater, stale beer.; and somebody’s son, somebody's daughter, somebody'sBut we are dispassionately asked to retrospectively witness a tragedy,
...now, Peering down Onto the road where the line was. Mystery of a word, amputate.DECEMBER 30th 2004 brings a magical opening, but soon reverts to the matter of fact observed world,
Bronze leaves on pavements; frosted brooches a summer seeking goddess might have dropped leaving this world of mobile phones and fast food. ... my son downloads long-haired girls with eyes cold as dead stars from web-sites that might be other planets, ... The past as incubator, shawl, changing mat; as pantomime (those costumes). The ages. Stacked on the floor. My daughter fourteen, falls in love with her face again; is my younger fleeing self.SHOW DATE AND TIME, is imbued with a sense of nostalgia, but nostalgia without sentiment. The poet views her world with candour and acceptance.
Since then they have cut down the trees behind the house ... and unknown animals pace the outlying fields. there is new legislation against rambling; there is new legislation about not scrawling your name in indelible marker on the nearest street sign but you do. ... the hallway has become overgrown with flyers, letters, newspapers and a loose ball of garden twine which you will unwind further ... walking into the rest of your life, holding onto the end holding on so that if, when, soon you can rewind, trace your way back to the street sign where Your hectic scrawl reminds you who you were.The collection's penultimate poem WHEN IT COMES sums up, for me, the overall tenor of the work. If there is such a thing as positive pessimism, then here it is.
the earth won't shift. ... it will barely flicker, When it comes you may hear irregular beats, like a faulty pentameter, a leaky heart. One of seven plots, you will act in it, I will act. ... You may not even hear it as it won't be seismic but subtle. Like scent. Like a leaf. Near your lips as you move to kiss it.There are twenty poems in this fine collection. Pam Thompson has a voice that should echo through our minds and should, through her skill, remind us ‘who we were. It is a voice I look forward to hearing again and again.
|reviewer: John Cartmel-Crossley.|