NEW HOPE INTERNATIONAL REVIEW

An independent small press poetry review

NHI independent review
DANA LITTLEPAGE SMITH: BLACK ELK DANCES FOR QUEEN VICTORIA
Cinnamon Press
Ty Meiron
Glan yr Afon
Tanygrisiau
Blaenau Ffestiniog
Gwynedd
LL41 3SU
UK
ISBN 978 1 905614 39 4
7.99

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DANA LITTLEPAGE SMITH: BLACK ELK DANCES FOR QUEEN VICTORIA

It was sheer coincidence that the day that I happened to dip into the website of Cinnamon Press and yes, good enough to eat! was the same day that I opened BLACK ELK DANCES, to review. I was eager to read on. In their blurb Cinnamon Press claimed to be

independent, innovative and international.
I was keen to see if this author lived up to these lofty statements.

Her first poem DILRUBA SARANG did not disappoint. I felt the pain and sorrow that the dreaded Taliban is placing on the world today. I can also feel the pain and anguish in her WISH FOR AN EMBRYO

	A speck unfaced, unformed, unlymphed, unlimbed, slipped into me.
Bitter-sweet writing indeed.

THE DEVON WITCHES is taken from fact so the reader has history woven through its elegant lines. For me, particularly poetic is her

	Reason grows lean
	in our village while  heresy
	grows fat.
In ABOUT SUFFERING the poet gives the reader all the little clues (as if they are needed!)
	September's
	duck egg blue,
	the arc of flame and fireball undreamt
and her heart-stoppingly
	who ever stops
	to realise the paradise of time?
The poet treats us to her cosmopolitan flair. A wonderful example for me, still with her poignant ABOUT SUFFERING is
	A cream of pages hurricane from blown windows like gulls
	to wing their way out to the ripples of the Hudson, where
	Bronx bills mingle with share prices in Shanghi
In her longish poem which gives the collection its quirky title, there are displayed numerous original-thinking phrases such as
	Albert lives in the badger's eye
and
	Your black becomes the raven's wing.
For me, MADAME BOVARY, YOU'VE GOT MAIL, is an absolute joy to read. I loved the whole concept. Once read, not to be forgotten.

The sheer sadness of BITCH leaps from the page. You cannot help but be moved. We, the readers have seen these human/animal/feral children courtesy of our television screens. We squirm in discomfort and disbelief from the comfort, safety and distance of our armchairs. Disbelief at man's inhumanity to man and where animals take over the nurturing instead. Poems such as this are more than simple words on the page.

reviewer: Louise Laurie.