Monday, 15 July 2019

@amreading Carolyne Van Der Meer, Journeywoman

Here is a collection of poetry that reads like exquisite prose full of evocative imagery.

Think of the etymology of “journeyman”, which describes a stage in learning one’s craft. It’s derived from journée, a day’s work or travel. And these poems are about becoming a master of womanhood, but also about the journey itself – where does life take us? In Van Der Meer’s poetry we travel the whole distance, from the gritty to the sublime, from food and sex to the dental chair, from cancer to sainthood.

Here are some of her recipes for life:

Tapas in the Plaza Ana

…On the second day,

we visit the Prado

buy handmade Mallorcan tap shoes,

then sink into wicker chairs,

sip rioja and local Naturbier

order tapas-

liver paste,

oiled salmon, blue cheese,

chorizo and jamon


despite sore feet

sweaty brows

I attempt poetry

jagged lines spiked emotions

inspiration from dead Spaniards

Homemade Pasta on New Year’s

The more you put into it, the better it tastes…

later when I roll them around my fork

with porcini mushrooms drenched in cream

I savour the harmony of tastes

remember the hardness

his arms

shudder, satiated, understand

the more you put into it

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