‘These are our thicket days / and it does seem darker, / though the sun is at its peak / over the crown of leaves.’
In Anna Jackson’s fifth collection of poetry Thicket, a rich and leafy life is closing in on the poet.
But a thicket is also something to walk out of, and Jackson offers us fairytale breadcrumb tracks to follow, through poems that consider badminton at dusk, Virgil at bedtime, theory over wine; shimmering, multi-faceted poems of swans and puppets, sons and brothers, a woman who has become a tree.
Thicket is an accomplished book from a poet of unease, who constantly turns her attention to the brambled path, the track less-followed, the subterranean presences in everyday life.
More about Anna Jackson
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. . . the title is a springboard into a rich, allegorical terrain comprising storytelling, family and feminism, which, thicket-like, have theoretical impenetrability for the poet. – Siobhan Harvey, NZ Listener
It is stunning stuff, as infectious as always, with a lyrical warmth and emotional rawness few poets combine as convincingly. – Hamesh Wyatt, Otago Daily Times
For [Jackson], "ordinary things" (parenting, dinner parties, conversations in the lift) are full of wry comedy and emotional conundrums. In Thicket she explores parent-child dynamics through a mythic lens, and the striking cover captures the project acutely. The title is vividly cross-stitched over a pitch-dark grove of tree-trunks; you find an Anubis figure, a veiled doorway and a mysterious flame when you flip the book to read the interrupted inscription: . . . It's all there - bright stitchery on an uncertain ground, dark mythic vistas, word-play, and inscribed efforts to tame the tangles and impose some perspective. – Janet Hughes, NZ Books