"Studded with miraculous knots of imagery and revelation": A review

2/2/2017

"If for a moment you imagine language as a length of rope, a poem forms when you start tying knots in the rope and pulling them tight, snugging them and squeezing all the air out. The poet may then submit to the reader that his imagination run over the knots like fingers over a set of prayer beads. I don’t know if Nancy Takacs knows this, but she knows this. And her new volume of poetry, The Worrier, is an astonishing collection studded with miraculous knots of imagery and revelation as startling and delicate as bird tracks in the snow."

So begins Richard Hedderman's review of Juniper Prize for Poetry winner winner Nancy Takacs's collection The Worrier in 15 Bytes.

The Worrier poems, like a string of worry beads, are dialogues between two interior voices exploring topics as varied as fur coats, marriage, scars, vanishing bees, a silent film star, toads, and volunteers. Strongly imagistic, and often placed in wild landscapes, these poems strangely soothe with their surprising offbeat answers to Takacs’s worries about intimacy, loss, and turmoil in midlife and beyond; about disappearing wilderness, and compassion, in the world at large. Despite worrying, the poems seem fearless in what they tackle, and in their language and form, creating lightness, promise.