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  • Writer's pictureThe Fiction Fox

Review: Corpse Beneath the Crocus - N.N. Nelson

Genre: modern poetry

Published: Atmostphere Press, February 2023

My Rating: 3/5 stars

“I am haunted, by the ghost of the future I wanted”

Corpse Beneath the Crocus is N.N. Nelsons debut collection of modern poetry, written as an exorcism of her own grief after the death of her husband in 2018. It grapples with the topic of grief; from how it manifests in mundane and daily details, to the greater ripples it sends through all of our lives. As such it feels like a very personal collection to the author, which always makes it difficult to review it as an outsider.

When it comes to poetry, more so than any other genre, I look for a combination of the beauty of the text in itself, as well as an emotional connection to it. This collection, as is often the case with modern poetry for me, was a mixed bag of that. What I loved in particular was the scope of grief it describes; from the sometimes unbearable weight of trying to fathom concepts like “never”, to the small losses, like an indent on a mattress when the person who left it is gone. My two favourite poems were Marionette and September 27th, which I think captured that beautifully.

What brought the collection down a bit, was that it poses relatable feelings and experiences, but never words them in a way that I haven’t seen or thought before. Therefore, although I enjoyed my time with it, I didn’t feel like I gained anything from this collection after finishing it.

I’ve also come to realize that I personally don’t enjoy swearing and expletives in my (modern) poetry. I’m not opposed to swearing; I do it quite a lot in day-to-day-life and don’t mind an occasional swearword in my fiction to emphasize strong emotion, but I’m noticing that lines like;

“ No luck, fuck, this shit can suck

my metaphysical dick and nuts.”

feel out of place and unintentionally laughable to me in my poetry.

Many thanks to Atmosphere Press and Netgalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Find this book here on Goodreads.


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