Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Splintering, by Eireann Corrigan

In the aftermath of a random act of violence against a family, the individual members of the family must recover and rebuild. Each one struggles with their own demons and none of them can quite figure out a way to reconnect. Through a series of prose poems which are alternating visions of what brother and sister feel, Corrigan brings to life their conflicting feelings.

Some poetry collections work, while others become excuses for fragmented writing. This is an example of the latter. It doesn't help that the poetry isn't really that good. Long rambling free verse, the language is basically prose written in snippets. That's really an abuse of the form, as if Corrigan can't connect the dots between the various scenes or find a way to connect her characters. Yes, as the title implies, being splintered and disconnected might be the point here, but this is pretty turgid reading. The characters mostly mope around, not really realizing anything about themselves or others, and end up pretty much where they started. Very little payoff here.

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