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  • Kayleigh Campbell

Micro-review: Moveable Type by Jo Clement.

Next in pamphlets I've read in one sitting is Moveable Type by the lovely Jo Clement, editor of Butcher's Dog magazine. First to note is the striking cover; the majestic eye of a horse. This image offers the reader a glimpse of what follows - tension, beauty and vulnerability. Admittedly, I am unfamiliar with Gypsy Identity and Culture, only that I am aware of the existing misconceptions and prejudices that the Gypsy community face. Clement's poems allow the reader to enter her world and her memories, displaying refreshing truth and clear poetic skill. The opening poem The Impression of Water first presents us with the notion of the Traveller being almost ethereal and also well versed in life 'how fast the water flows in lines against the Traveller's face, her clothes/ the supplementary weight'. The finale of this poem 'Follow the swan's example when writing on a page of river: glide.' depicts exactly what Clement does for the rest of this collection: she glides from page to page. That is not to say that these poems are delicate - they are far from it. Clement describes with starkness and honesty 'lift carpet to watch silverfish dance/thrive on nowt but damp and dirt' and maintains a sense of tension throughout 'he finds our fires as foreign as his 'Gipsies'. Clement's brilliant use of imagery never falters and is particularly strong in my favourite poem Inheritance 'back then I'd press them on my skin until they etched bloodless glyphs'; her voice is musical. This pamphlet is full of memory, northern slang and politics. One thing that really shines is the significance and symbolism of horses 'spading hooves/his waterway gymkhana/deep as a tall mare'. I really enjoyed reading these poems and they made me want to be a better writer.


Support a brilliant writer and by one here - https://www.joclement.co.uk/moveable-type

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