The poems in The Jellyfish Society span a range of subjects and are, essentially, about human survival. Just as jellyfish adapt and survive, so do we. In an ever-changing and ever-threatening world, these poems show us the resilience of the human race and demonstrate Popowich’s ability to engage the reader through both subject and poetic form.
The poems in The Jellyfish Society defy pigeonholing. There is such variety here and such skill. Poems about the holocaust and ISIS brides sit side-by-side with a poem about a picnic at Wuthering Heights or a sinister take on In An English Country Garden. Strong poems, confident in every way. Startlingly good.
Popowich draws back the veil that cloaks transparent bodies of men, women and children – breathes life into their lungs and words to their throats. She deftly exposes the haunting fragility of the everyday, the commonplace.
Lydia Popowich’s ‘The Jellyfish Society’ is a pamphlet that pushes poetic boundaries, delighting in the abstract and surreal. Not afraid to confront wide-ranging subject matter from Jihadist brides (Parliament has Consented to War) to a tender childhood relationship (Fry’s Chocolate Cream), be ready for a colourful and astonishing read from this new voice.
Here is the language of undercurrents, and ‘small acts of sabotage’. In these hurtling poems we find a subversive, sentient lawnmower and ask questions such as ‘did she ever find Heathcliff?’ or end up in Hawaii? We are poised for a psychedelic meltdown in response to an dystopian collection that contains a ‘dangerous box of stings’.