Planet 234

Elizabeth Edwards
Tiger Girl
by Pascale Petit
by John Barnie
The Mallarmé Poems
by Matthew Jarvis

by Pascale Petit

Bloodaxe, £10.99

Pascal Petit’s Tiger Girl is a beautiful and devastating book. Much of what is recounted in these poised, crafted poems is brutal, but at its centre it feels like a book about love, and finding your place in a fragile world. A family story, arching between India and Wales, develops from the opening poem (‘Her Gypsy Clothes’), in which themes of mothering (and its absence), and rituals of care layer up. Often, and crucially, these themes bridge the divide between human and animal worlds: ‘a nursing tigress – / all the animals who came that night / to watch over me, who watch over me still’.

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