The Persistence Of Longing

The Persistence Of Longing by Lynne Knight
Published by Terrapin Books
Published 8 July 2016
102 pages
Review copy

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I was given a copy of this book by the publisher and voluntarily reviewed it.


I love these poems, love how they sweep me along, sweep me up into the arms of the kind of longing that seems unsayable, untranslatable, impossible to describe in any language, with any words–the words turning back into breath, as this poet says, as she creates the sense of that longing, itself, in words, in these sometimes-breathless lines, sometimes against the restraint of form, the sweet ache of rhyme, creating that sense of urgency that’s so like desire, itself, and the sense of danger that infuses even the deepest pleasure, especially the deepest pleasure. I’ve never read poems that seem to me more accurate about love and desire and sexual relationships and their almost-inevitable shattering–darkly gorgeous and expertly-crafted poems, with a white-hot lyric intensity and a narrative pull that becomes cumulative, an erotic veering toward doom. And yet, the persistence of longing is the life force, too, refusing to exhaust itself: How could anything in the universe be undying / when everything rushed forward, trailing light?

Cecilia Woloch, author of Carpathia


From Forbidden

They looked so long into each other
I sometimes had to look away…


This is my first time reading the poet and it won’t be my last. I loved The Persistence of Longing. These intense, rich and vivid poems deal with some of my favourite subjects; love, desire and sexual relationships. These are things I write a lot of poems about and this collection was a joy to read. Every poem touched me. I love poets who can write with such brutality honesty about desire, how it can consume you until the world stops making poems. The Persistence of Longing spoke to me. I loved it, I especially enjoyed the title poem, Things She Would Never Do, The Course of Things, The Boy I Would Die Without and The Way of Things. I loved this collection of poems and would highly recommend it.




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