This week our Friday Poem is ‘Brown Furniture’ from The Ivy Hides the Fig-ripe Duchess by Ellie Evans.
Ellie Evans’ first and only collection, The Ivy Hides the Fig-ripe Duchess, was published in 2011, a year before Evans sadly passed away. In this exhilirating book, the author uses a surrealist palette of imagery and a tightly focused idiom, taking us on strange journeys: to the post-apocalyptic world of the title poem, or into a skewed 18th century Venice in ‘The Zograscope’. There is also a palpable delight in technique: you will find a sonnet, a villanelle, triolets and a concise free verse where she employs rhyme, half-rhyme, and subtle alliteration.
‘Brown Furniture’ doesn’t take us to strange worlds or uncanny places, but the personification of an old oak cupboard evokes the oddity of aging, its painful straining: ‘I dent the carpet … you shove and shove/ and your eyes pop.’ The surface simplicity of the poem veils deep wells of meaning.
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