A HungerPetra White
This volume opens with a full-length book of new poems by Petra White, A Hunger. Bound-in with it are her two prior books, The Simplified World and The Incoming Tide. The new poems of A Hunger are as lucid as they are mysterious, crafted for the ear, and for an emotional tone that slips delicately between mischievous irony and a cut-through bleakness or joy.
A strong theme, in parts, is depression, where White presses beyond personal response into examining darkness itself, in a fierce art that deliberately gives and asks for no indulgence. The same goes for her love poems, in a sequence that plunges into the wild contradictions and poignancy of new love, with glances to Renaissance poets.
Contemporary worlds - people and place - are foundation for this poetry, which is haunted by inscrutable time. Her well-known 'Southbank' from her first book is given a further turn in a new sequence, 'The Sound of Work' - this is one of the few contemporary poets to write convincingly of office work. In all, White's poems inhabit life's fragility with a light-footed constancy.