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Review: Sweet Torture of Breathing, by Lorna Thorpe

One could easily shower this collection with compliments and words that express the feistiness, humour and defiant spirit of the poems. In all probability these would also describe the poet's character and her attitude to life and near-death. But I enjoyed the quieter, darker and unflinchingly personal poems in this collection at least as much, if not more. The fusion of a lover's scent and the aroma of a good Chablis in I could drink a case of you is a perfectly formed drunken and tender love poem while When they opened up my heart is a moving inventory of a life nearly lost, with each element carefully chosen, each word meticulously placed. Thorpe is an excellent reader and performer of her work, but this outstanding collection is no less effective and moving when read in private and silence.