Emma Lew



Un(dis)closed: Reading the Poetry of Emma Lew

As with contemporaries like Claire Gaskin (Paperweight) and Kate Lilley (Versary, particularly ‘Mint in Box: A Pantoum Set’), Emma Lew has turned to fixed poetic forms like the pantoum and the villanelle. Constraint is both formally enacted and thematically explored.

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Rattling the Forms

I wanted to dissolve my marriage, explode the limits, seek comfort, oblivion, anything in caves, on a whaling ship, in a hundred other places. Shrewd reverie in my perilous head, I struck out through the shambling waves: I wanted to …

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Arraignment Song

The same show every time – that’s death Flash boat, fast cars – it’s all going to end Go cosy, slow, investigate Dead ten years when the letter was mailed Flash boats, fast cars – it’s all going to end …

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Poem

Adultery fucks a family up as much as poverty Because the memories can’t run away from home That’s a lot of hatred from a mother Nothing I’d care to discuss right now Because the memories can’t run away from home …

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Gig Ryan Reviews Emma Lew, Bella Li, Kate Lilley, and Jennifer Maiden

Elegy intensifies around the objects that remain, those keepsakes that must signify a spent life. In Kate Lilley’s Realia, the first poem ‘GG’ is an auction listing from Greta Garbo’s estate in which the repetition of Garbo’s name intones like a docked requiem. Only things exist timeless, immutable, saleable, as shining representatives of the once-living. Life’s fraught event is reduced to its acquisitions, and transformed, satirised, into capitalism’s ultimate wearer of labels: the former consumer of commodities is now more amenably cast purely as a selection of those objects, whose value her absence increases.

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Justin Lowe Reviews Emma Lew and Ashlley Morgan-Shae

… And it was only then it occurred to me what this collection lacks, something that the East Europeans possess in bucket loads &#151 a sense of humour. For all her sweet caressing of the ear, Emma Lew's poetry lacks a nimbleness that only a sense of humour can lend to a poem. She knows her stuff, all right. Maybe she just needs to live it.

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Her Embroideries

He was the shadow of the deep bed. He was very beautiful, and as always there was something perfect, as though I were his cousin. On the map he had shown me a forest, but there was no such forest, …

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Now, Some Facts

I’m related to Karl Marx My great great great great great grandfather ruled Poland for a month Anna Freud babysat my mother My great grandfather never had a hole in his teeth Stampeding horses tore my grandfather’s thumb My great …

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