by Julia Darling - £9.99 Arc Publications (2005)
paperback ISBN 13: 9781904614128 | ISBN 10: 1904614124
A little over a year since the appearance of her first book of poetry, Sudden Collapses in Public Places (which was awarded a Poetry Book Society Recommendation), Julia Darling completed her second collection.
Her first book grew from her experiences of being treated for advanced breast cancer; she was able to employ poetic images which helped her see things in a fresh way, pictures and metaphors that could almost be used as 'visualisations'.
"Without poems, my journey through chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and the general ups and downs of illness, would have been unthinkable... In my case, I chose to imagine my body as a house, and wrote many poems during my treatment about "living in the new extension" or about my fears. Sudden Collapses helped me to step out of the difficult present and to use my imagination to be somewhere else."
Her second collection looks at the world beyond the hospital, although still from the view-point of a cancer patient in the advanced stages of the illness. The themes are familiar, but here she writes with a wider perspective, a deeper understanding, which reach out to the heart of the human condition and the greater mysteries of life, albeit in an understated way. This is a powerful and deeply affecting book, completely unsentimental yet charged with emotion – indeed, one of those rare books that have a profound and lasting effect.
(Price & availability last checked: September 2018)
In booklists: Women Poets, Women and Cancer, Cancer, World Poetry - England, LGBTQ+ Poetry, In categories: Feminism & Women, Poetry & Writing, Health & Wellbeing, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexuality & Transgender,