I dreamed of you as a candyfloss cloud / above a siege of cranes migrating
Gaynor Kane has published four books in an impressive six-year period: she lives in Northern Ireland and has been published widely, including in Black Nore Review, Dreich, Flash Fiction Armagh and the Lothlorien Poetry Journal.
This collection takes the eight forms that the Greeks considered as kinds of love as its inspiration: Ludus (playful love), Eros (sexual passion), Mania (obsessive love), Philia (deep friendship), Philautia (love of the self), Pragma (long-standing love), Storge (family love) and Agape (love for everyone). Each category is granted two poems. It’s a clever framework, on which Gaynor works her customary magic.
Lessons from the Text
I’ve followed Gaynor’s meteoric rise over the past few years with both pride and a notepad: there is always something to learn from her work, ways to make my output stronger. This collection, which covers a lot of territory in sixteen poems, shows a writer not just comfortable with forms, but happy to push the boundaries of their own creativity. From the prose behemoth that is Dan the Man, ‘Big Balls’ to the tenderness of last days in No Recipe For Love, there truly is here something for everyone.
My favourite in this collection isn’t the selected one above however (Stalker‘s still a cracker though, and is a salutatory reminder of what many women will have personally experienced) but To Those Who Say I can’t Sing: skilful use of both list and repetition in a work is difficult to pull off, but Gaynor does so with effortless grace… in fact, all of these poems are a combination of skilled wordplay and smart construction. As a result, the journey simply flies by and, I would like to say, I was very much left wanting more by the end. Sixteen poems is not enough.
There’s nothing for it, I’ll be pulling my other books off the shelf when Sealey is done and diving back into the Kane back catalogue. Gaynor will be launching this book digitally via Zoom with fellow Irish poet Damien Donnelly in September. I cannot urge you enough to consider picking up a ticket: Click here to book your place!
Will you read it again? Yup, and yet again I will lament its shortness. The best things come in small packages, they say, and this is very much a case in point 😀
Would you recommend it for me to read? Go buy all of Gaynor’s books, please, and tell her I sent you. Support a brilliant poet with a huge heart and an impressive ability to weave magic with words.