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Poetry. Lindsay Turner's ravishing SONGS & BALLADS takes account of colors, architectures, skies, and the many ways the world is speculatively used and re-used for short-term ends. When to refrain? Refrain now, hold back from harm now, hold on to the world now and now, these elegiac, mysteriously worldy poems sing.--Catherine Wagner
'The sunlight was prettier for its uneven distribution, ' observes Lindsay Turner, alerting us to the collectivist imperative subtending perception itself. 'Oh share it, share it.' SONGS & BALLADS re-imagines historical poetics--'what's the ragged quatrain's job?'--as a critique of our unsustainable political economies. Employing recursive forms from the Medieval ballad to Modernism's differential repetitions, Turner's contemporary stanzas in meditation remediate 'a range of arrangements / demanding attention' for the continuous present. Whether it be 'the pentagons of space in the chainlink' or 'what the animals we saw never knew, ' we find, in this work, a world on the verge: 'all systems go and some places broken.'--Srikanth Reddy
Witty, mordant, despairing, yet peculiarly refreshing poems: Lindsay Turner has done the thing few can do--she has made lyric critical; she makes thought sing. 'Tuesday and I want an image / of the ecological condition / these raindrops just aren't normal. These are incantations of and against a seeping duress--with weird skies, ugly offices, bank holidays, ominous weather, bad feelings and wrong life. Her antennae quiver in this mood of disaster, as her poems become a 'keeper of our collective distress.' Songs, ballads, ditties, fractured meditations: these poems offer a countermeasure, a countersong against the modern regime of blighting calculation. With their beguiling and wrong-footing music, these poems keep time and keep our time; they are insistent, seductive, surprising. The ocean, love, a day's measure: are they 'nothing to us'? Are we 'good for nothing'? Keenly intelligent poems of dispossession and divestiture, they crack a smart whip in their ludic and paradoxically soulful deadpan.--Maureen N. McLane.