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Parker & Quink by Jennifer Compton
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Parker & Quink

by Jennifer Compton

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http://shawjonathan.wordpress.com/2013/07/12/jennifer-compton-parker-quink/

Parker & Quink: the young might stare at these brand names blankly, but for us sexagenarians they have unmistakeable nostalgic power to evoke the sensual feel of a fountain pen, the aroma of quality ink, the dubious joys of blotting and smudging, perhaps even the quiet pleasure of receiving one’s first Parker pen as a reward for doing well in a school exam. The title poem, just three lines, draws on those associations, but its tone is more bemused than nostalgic:

Parker & Quink
To write your email address
with a fountain pen filled with ink
like lighting a candle on the moon.

The past isn’t just another country, it’s a whole other celestial body, with unbelievably limited, even ineffective communication technology. Yet to my way of thinking a lot of the poetry in the rest of he book uses just that technology: the kind that needs the reader to come and sit with it for a while, rather than providing instant hits, instant links. The book touches on many subjects, speaks in many voices, reflects many moods. There are memories of a New Zealand childhood, private acknowledgement from an eminent theatre critic (though we’re left not knowing if this was real or imagined), a touch of Bildungsroman, a homage to Kenneth Koch's 'Ballade' (a kind of compressed, fragmentary, cryptic autobiography), dreams, dramatic monologues.
  shawjonathan | Jul 12, 2013 |
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