Before The Words Run Out
Poetry is unattainable abstract art for me; something that I personally struggle to create. There are poems I read and can identify with immediately, there are those I struggle to comprehend and then others that make me ponder for an extended period of time. The latter are the best. They’re the ones that keep on giving.
Carol’s collection in Before The Words Run Out is a generous one. The pages are full of her words and weighty ideology. It took me quite some time to get through this book because there were some poems that required me to sit back and think.
I have favourites of course – within a collection there are almost always favourites. I liked the poignant ‘Smile’ where the message is clear and the imagery stark and vivid. I loved ‘Persephone’ – a beautiful retelling of a tale I have always enjoyed. It’s harder to please those with high expectations of a much loved story and I think Carol did an extraordinary job. It was both modern and metaphorical. ‘Failure Yet Again’ has lovely emotional imagery, ‘Among The Incomplete’ was gorgeous – with its light-hearted start and resonating ending. I loved ‘Taking Turns’, a poem about relationships and learned habits. There’s a great deal of psychology in those six short lines.
I read through the Haiku section very quickly and felt like they led naturally from one to the other. This is a section I shall revisit later to devote more of my time to. I feel like there were some real gems in there that deserve to be savoured.
The last portion of the book is dedicated to flash fiction or ‘Snapshots’ as Carol calls them. Some of them are serious, others light and humorous, but the one that touched my heart was ‘Conrad’. There was something very deep in the simplicity of the telling.
Overall I enjoyed this collection very much, and I’m glad I read it. I rarely delve into poetry because I often feel like I’m missing the point – but I ‘got’ a lot of Carol’s pieces. It’s a lovely mixed bag of tone and storytelling, with many visual elements and evoked emotion.
If there was a drawback, it would be that I wish there was a digital version of this book, only because of my own reading habits. It would be nice to have some shorter pieces readily available on my phone while I’m out with my daughter at a playground. It’s difficult to get into a novel when you’ve got half an eye on your child, so this book in e-format would’ve been perfect.