Monday, May 18, 2015

Poetry Monday: Lucy Dougan

I met Lucy Dougan at a friend’s house nearly 20 years ago.  At that time she was already a published poet, though her first full collection Memory Shell wasn’t yet out.  I might be wrong (memory being what it is), but I recall her having a young child with her at the time. She was introduced to me as someone I should know - a fellow poet, and though I hadn’t yet heard of her, I’ve been following Dougan’s work since then with a great deal of admiration.  Her new book The Guardians just arrived in my letterbox.  As with Dougan’s other books, the themes in this one all resonate with me: genetic inheritance, illness and healing, the fuzzy link between the domestic and the universal, the interstices, absences and spaces that create moments of re-written meaning: “I rewrite my life/in grass-green drizzle round the rim” ("Nettle Soup”).  Reading “Mask,” the first poem in the book, I immediately thought of Hélène Cixous’ écriture féminine - this notion of writing through the female body of sensation - not just joyful, but painful too.  In “Wayside”, which opens with a Cixous epigraph, Dougan writes:
My body wants
the long way back
just to find lost land
rehearsing what it will be -
unexpected flowerings
locked tight in seeds.  (12)
Doug’s work is as tender as it is fierce, and I’m looking forward to exploring it more fully.

1 comment:

  1. Like that excerpt ... if only we cold put those pesky blooms back into their seeds! :)