Hump (Ariel Gordon)

A first poetry collection organized around the poet’s pregnancy, Hump could move in a lot of lousy directions but Gordon reigns in the sentimentality as much as possible to produce a set of clever and curious poems. Although loving, the poems also give away her frustration and otherwise focus on the changes in her life that the child hath wrought. I enjoyed this book much more than I expected to, given that this generally isn’t my “thing” — Gordon also has a good eye for alliteration and internal rhythm and makes better use of compound adjectives than I’ve seen in a while (in the early poems, that is, the ones that have nothing to do with the child but set up a contrast so that the changes in her life become apparent). How often do you see a well-used compound adjective in poetry? A tiny excerpt:

I wanted to write a tender poem
about you that marked the moment months in,
months in, when your dry furious cheeks
first wetted down
. . .
but I don’t remember when it was
. . .
& I would still give just about anything
for a moment to myself
& oh fuck you just woke up–


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