The Art Of Falling by Kim Moore
Published by Seren Books
Published 14 April 2015
WHAT’S IT’S ABOUT
Kim Moore, in her lively debut poetry collection, The Art of Falling, sets out her stall in the opening poems, firmly in the North amongst ‘My People’: “who swear without knowing they are swearing… scaffolders and plasterers and shoemakers and carers…”. ‘A Psalm for the Scaffolders’ is a hymn for her father’s profession.
The title poem riffs on the many sorts of falling “so close to failing or to falter or to fill”. The poet’s voice is direct, rhythmic, compelling. These are poems that confront the reader, steeped in realism, they are not designed to soothe or beguile. They are not designed with careful overlays of irony and although frequently clever, they are not pretentious but vigorously alive and often quite funny. In the first section there is: a visit to a Hartley street spiritualist, a train trip from Barrow to Sheffield, a Tuesday at Weatherspoon’s.
The author’s experience as a peripatetic brass teacher sparks several poems. The lives of others also feature throughout, including a quietly devastating central sequence, ‘How I abandoned My Body To His Keeping’: is the story of a woman embroiled in a relationship marked by coercion and violence. These are close-to-the-bone pieces, harrowing and exact.
The final section includes beautifully imagined character portraits of John Lennon and Wallace Hartley (the violinist on the Titanic), as well as Jazz trumpeter Chet Baker and the poet Shelley and other poems on: suffragettes, a tattoo inspired by Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own, and a poetic letter addressed to a ‘Dear Mr Gove’.
From And The Soul
And the soul, if she is to know
Herself, must look into the soul…
And the soul, if she is to know herself
must look into the soul and find
what kind of beast is hiding…
WHAT I THOUGHT
This is my first time reading the poet.
I really enjoyed The Art of Falling. Moore is talented poet, able to write rich, vivid poems that make great use of language and imagery. I enjoyed every poem. The opening poem And the Soul is impressive and sets the tone for the whole collection. There are so many poems that spoke to me especially the ones taken from How I Abandoned My Body to His Keeping which focus on domestic violence. I also particularly enjoyed If We Could Speak Like Wolves, The Art of Falling, He Was The Forgotten Thing, When I Was A Thing With Feathers and How Wolves Change Rivers. I’ve discovered another great poet and would highly recommend this collection.