Normally when I read poetry, I dip in and out of a collection, but for some reason Maria Jaztrzebska’s book At the Library of Memories, inspired me to read the poems in chronological order from front to back. And then I started to dip in and out, re-reading my favourites.
Perhaps it was the subtitles (starting with Foyer followed by Children’s Area) that seemed like different chapters to me, and made me think of a novel. And even though each poem can be read on its own, the poems become stronger when you have the full picture. A bit like looking in a photo album and connecting up memories. The collection can also be seen as a meditation on memory itself. ”By night children’s memories flicker like glow worms”.
Maria was born in Poland, but has lived most of her life in the UK and I love it how she jumps back and forth in time between her first memories of England and also thinking about her heritage. Now and again Polish words sneak their way into the poems, enhancing them. Overall I find it effortless to read the poems, the author manages to keep the poetic flow without complicating things.
There are also some very sensual poems about love as well as sexual experiences. My all time favourite is The Room of Smells, an interior garden, where the narrator is high on post sex feelings at a bus stop: ”she hates you comparing her scent to food or plants. You can’t help the way your mind runs, bumping into one fragrance after another like a great bumble bee”.
So, If you’re longing to read poetry, don’t wait. Go and find a copy of At the Library of Memories now.
Maria also has a blog.