by Isobel Dixon (Umuzi) ISBN 978-1-4152-0161-9
I think that when selecting a book of poetry, it is almost impossible to gauge the real meaning of it just by standing at the shelf and browsing through it. Poetry is deep writing and sometimes the meaning escapes you on first reading it.
I started reading Isobel Dixon’s poems and put the book aside. Then, on another occasion when I finally managed to lift the veil on her works, I became intrigued. A lot of poetry is written in the subconscious mind so the reader has to read and re-read to find the meaning. And then you have this wonderful moment of revelation and find that some of the poems are telling you how to see the world anew.
The fact that the poet grew up in the Karroo makes you think she has a so called clean slate to write upon. No interference from the outside. And that gives her clarity of vision that we sometimes have to search for. The ostriches in the lucerne field have me carrying a photograph in my mind of those blowsy ballerinas pecking away to the music of Swan Lake.
Each poem carries a questing intelligence that makes you think, until at last you understand the meaning. Of course a quote from JM Coetzee endorses the fact that she must be a very worthwhile poet. I love poetry and enjoyed her anthology.