Published November 14, 2012
Guest editor: Phoebe Power
“Zesty”, “mineral”, “myrtle”, “plaster”: just a few examples of the vivid language featured in this issue’s colourful crop of poems. Anran Yu’s poem infuses our sense of the Greek character, Patroclus, with an arresting “bloom of red”, while Anna Leader describes an eerily mechanical white world. Similarly disturbing is the communist state in Michelle Jia’s poem, ominously depicted in washed-out shades of “grass” and “taupe”.
Emotional experiences also become artefacts of colour. Helen Zhou Huiwen’s ‘Beetle’ is an expression of personal feeling, delicately rendered in brown. Ada Cheong’s poem instead imagines the bright optimism of “coloured pegs” to evoke the beginning of a new relationship. Sherrie Talgeri is more cynical in her consideration of the commercialism of colour in ‘emotionless emulsion’, while for Bertille Sobiesk, the excess of pigment suggested by lines like “scratching jade on your mouth” is violent and sickening.
This issue also sheds light on the use of colour by some established poets. Read Phoebe Walker’s review to find out about Paul Farley’s Quality Street wrappers, or Rebecca Liu’s on the American poet Lucie Brock-Broido if you’re intrigued by red scarves. Meanwhile, Jack Belloli offers a valuable insight into the work of the much-overlooked late twentieth-century poet R.F. Langley, who liked spiders, nursery rhymes and blue bricks.
The very relationship between words and images are interrogated by Ruth O’Connell-Brown: her thought-provoking article considers the work of the Belgian artist, René Magritte, whose famous work depicted a painting of a smoking pipe with the caption “this is not a pipe”. Nevertheless, I’m thrilled that each poem is accompanied by an illustration. The highly visual poems featured in this issue are vividly realised in unique and beautiful ways by the artists, and I hope they will promote new imaginative paths in the reading and interpretation of the poetry.
Don’t put the lids on your coloured pens! Finally, Holly Corfield Carr’s workshop will guide you through the exciting and sometimes challenging process of expressing in language this beautiful and elusive thing: colour.
Phoebe Power received an Eric Gregory Award in 2012, and in 2009 was a Foyle Young Poet of the Year. Her poems have appeared in Orbis, Cadaverine and Eyewear, and are forthcoming in Magma. Phoebe is currently studying English at Cambridge, where she runs Pembroke Poetry Society. phoebepower.blogspot.co.uk
Cover artist Clare Corfield Carr is studying her final year of illustration at Falmouth College of Arts. She draws in lines, shapes and patterns, integrating geometric shapes. Her influences include the decorative style of Art Nouveau and the graphic quality of Bauhaus artists such as Josef Albers and Max Bill. She is currently working on the House of Illustration and Folio Society competition, illustrating Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. You can see more of Clare’s work at clarecorfieldcarr.blogspot.co.uk.
Cover art by Clare Corfield Carr
Issue 8 by Phoebe Power
a dispassionate white sun by Anna Leader
Beetle by Helen Zhou Huiwen
The Story Which I Am Not Proud To Tell by Michelle Jia
emotionless emulsion by Sherrie Talgeri
Patroclus by Anran Yu
Untitled by Bertille Sobiesk
School Love by Ada Cheong
Cerulean, Spiders and Nursery Rhymes: R.F. Langley by Jack Belloli
Paul Farley’s The Dark Film by Phoebe Walker
Trouble in Mind by Lucie Brock-Broido by Rebecca Liu
Magritte’s Forbidden Literature: The Use of the Word by Ruth O'Connell-Brown
Colour: a workshop by Holly Corfield Carr