Dreaming Frankenstein & Collected Poems, 1967-1984

Dreaming Frankenstein & Collected Poems, 1967-1984

Dreaming Frankenstein & Collected Poems, 1967-1984

Dreaming Frankenstein & Collected Poems, 1967-1984

Synopsis

Liz Lochhead has built an impressive reputation as poet, playwright and performer attracting a large and admiring public. Dreaming Frankenstein: & Collected Poems stands as a monument to her early work: four collections Memo for Spring (1972), Islands (1978) and Grimm Sisters (1981) and the title volume together provide a complete record of her poetry from 1967 to 1984. In Dreaming Frankenstein human relationships, especially as seen from a woman's point of view, are central. Attraction, pain, acceptance, loss, triumphs and deceptions all are made immediate through her imagery and acute powers of observation and through her flair as a storyteller.

Excerpt

It is good to have this substantial collection of Liz Lochhead’s
poems. Although she has become increasingly well known as a
public performer of her work, and has shown her growing
interest in the theatre by writing plays, her poetry is skilled and
crafted and asks to be read as well as heard. Of her two main
previous books, Memo for Spring (1972) brought a fresh and
distinctive voice to everyday subjects – growing up, a carnival, a
dance cloakroom, a younger sister, school prizes, a neighbour’s
sari, a warrant sale, being in hospital, making a phone call; The
Grimm Sisters
(1981) moved farther into both narrative and
character-sketch, and added a dimension taken from ballad and
fairy-tale.

The present volume, with a large number of new poems, brings a
range of material and confidence of tone which are most
impressive. Human relationships, especially as seen from a
woman’s point of view, are central: attraction, pain, acceptance,
loss, triumphs and deceptions, habits and surprises; always made
immediate through a storyteller’s concrete detail of place or
voice or object or colour, remembered or imagined. The tone
varies from the rueful to something very forceful and deck
clearing indeed. Darker undercurrents suggested by the book’s
title accompany an emerging theme of self-exploring and self
defining which makes ‘Mirror’s Song’ a key poem: ‘a woman
giving birth to herself. This is a bold, striking collection. Poetry in
Scotland is evidendy not lacking in health and flair.

Edwin Morgan, 1984 . . .

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