product_data

God Loves You

Kathryn Maris
ISBN-13: 
9781781720356
Format: 
Paperback
Publication Date: 
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
0
No votes yet
£9.99

'There's a delicious sense of both open-mindedness and devilry in Maris's work. Her company is quirky, stimulating and sparklingly intelligent. You could say she's like Sylvia Plath with added chutzpah. But, really, Kathryn Maris is like no-one but herself.' – Carol Rumens

Kathryn Maris borrows rhythms, vocabulary and themes from the Bible in her new Seren collection of poems, God Loves You. The result is more than artful parody, although a sly wit is in evidence. It is an approach that accommodates large themes, unravelling them in new ways.

The first section, ‘What will the neighbours think?, is a kaleidoscopic view of the sins and sinners of the modern city and opens, appropriately enough, with a vision of a flood to rival Noah’s. The poems feature domestic discord, gossip, suicide, celebrity and anxiety about the safety and behaviour of children and spouses. It says much about this poet’s meticulous poise and tone that we are lured into these scenarios with our sympathies fully engaged.

The following sections subvert scripture more directly. A mock-prayer opens: ‘My father, who art in heaven,/ sits under an umbrella that is his firmament’; a sonnet begins: ‘Kyrie eleison! I said it in the pub.’ Such burlesque moments mask poignant themes of praise or blame, as well as being funny. A skilful use of form is characteristic, as in the sestina ‘Darling, Will You Please Pick up those Books?’ Other pieces are set out in the numbered style of psalms or parables but have an entirely contemporary edge.

'This has a Dorothy Parker air, metropolitan and crowded, intimate with other lives whose own limits may never be known' – George Szirtes, Poetry London

REVIEWS

Review by Jayant Kashyap, Only Humane

Sunday, April 8, 2018

It gets to be tough for me when it comes to grasping matters that relate themselves to god; I’m sure I don’t believe in the man (/woman) living in the skies and having their control over the world as if the world were a computer game and they owned a joystick.
A little while ago, I was writing a poem and, in a line, there I wrote “God has a form, and/that is human” and that is what I actually believe — we being the saviours and destroyers, ours being the fate of the world; and the fate being written by us.

On the other hand, Kathryn Maris is humorous when she discusses god … is faithful when she discusses god … is also dark when she discusses god. There is wit; their is humour; there is poetry. She is what nobody else is.

and my daughter repeated
an awful thing
I say about the English,
that they’re the rudest people
on the planet.

God Loves You came to me when I requested her for her pieces of poetry; and being a reviewer and critical writer herself, she knows precisely how words can strike people. This has been portrayed right through her first book; in the anthologies where her poems have appeared and never ceasing in even her second book — which is this!

Where her richness in the area of words can never keep you from being amazed after her poems, her brilliance has to amaze you from even the Acknowledgements page — numerous poems in various anthologies; you need to be master enough for this. And Maris has mastered the art, and is growing.

In the poem ‘Here Comes the Bride,’ you find a line that masterfully speaks of grief, regret and ease, and art lies in how it is done simultaneously ― “God loves the/woman who sits to your left, but I tell/you and not her” ― and in another poem is a line “Don’t worry: I don’t ever judge/a mother.”

In the whole length of the book, there is almost every emotion a human can feel: ranging from guilt to relief, from realisation to confession, sympathy to strength. And whatnot!

Call me weak, call me ingrate, call me ‘once bitten,
                                                                       twice shy.’
Call me anything, but please don’t say I make you
                                                                     want to die.

Finally, having gone through the book before the third one is out in the coming month guarantees that I’ll go through twice again, at the least; I can assure myself, if nobody else, that such is her brilliance. Such words!

 

User Reviews

Sorry there are no reviews yet for this book