’… these short, spare, finely wrought poems work within a complex imaginative structure. They build again in the mind that strange, closed, free place: the house of childhood.’ – Lisa Gorton
‘With wit and shimmering precision Jo Langdon’s poems connect the surreal, imagined world to what is felt. Her music is spare, wounding, hypnotic.’ – Michelle Cahill
Collection Snowline is the beautiful debut offerings of Melbourne poet, Jo Langdon. Beyond the cover lies a transparent page which allows us to find the collection’s title when we press our hands onto it. I love so much this sense of immediacy and discovery. This first echo of texture sets a pace and place for the poetry. The entirety of the book focuses on reflections, memories of familial and first loves. It goes beyond sentimentality and gives body to its subjects. Liner images of animals, landscape and the natural world become seamless and slip between itself and a kind of sleep state.
The opening poem ‘Sleepless’ awakens the collection’s central theme of returning. The lines that stand out were: ‘The house of love / this haunted hotel, / a ghost road of your / before’ and ‘Heavier things encased / in glass’. I empathise so much with the latter line, there’s a fragility that comes with the uneasiness of sleep and the concept of sleep evades waking life, every inch of it. Like relationships, things inevitably become ‘sleepless’ and then, it’s kind of a muddling through the ‘Clutter of tired / mementoes’, the aftermath that often goes unspoken. This poem addresses those ‘afters’ and the constancy that’s the mind in the middle of the night speaking over itself. Read more…