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Review: Sweet Torture of Breathing, by Lorna Thorpe

Lorna Thorpe's poetry has a facility for the clinching final line, the stylish dismount which might pall as a manoueuvre were it any less accomplished in practice. The collection moves from mental to physical illness, then to the mental and physical engagements (and tribulations) of love. Expressed with a tough, sometimes sardonic directness, the collection describes a trajectory from darkness to light which inevitably has less powerful things to say about the brighter end of the spectrum, if only because fire and meltdown tend to have the best tunes:

Last to go is the halo
which she carries hooped
like a bag over her arm
as dented and bruised
as the wheel of a stock car.


from Fallen angel