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The Caiplie Caves Reviews

The Caiplie Caves by Karen Solie

The Caiplie Caves

Karen Solie

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1 review

Category: Poetry, Non-fiction
Imprint: Picador
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Publication date: 28 May 2019
ISBN: 9781529005325

Karen Solie's fifth poetry collection, The Caiplie Caves, is a profound and timely consideration of the nature of crisis.

4 stars out of 5

"Wry, clear-eyed and uncompromising"

[Solie's] always had an eye for the world’s “unfit, unkind, unmarked places”, and the Caiplie Caves on the Fife coast, once home to St Ethernan, undeniably fit that bill... One of Solie’s defining traits is her playful misuse of jargon: a mercenary is “self-actuated”; gannets are “frontloaded with military tech”. The moments of pure surprise that make her work such a joy are rarer here, but writing in Ethernan’s doubt-ridden voice (as she does for a third of the book) has inspired a new style, a lyricism of hopelessness and inertia that is, at times, desperately sad... Solie’s philosophy does not offer consolation: “Experience teaches, but its lessons/ may be useless”; “A loved thing shared and doubled/ is in solitude never whole again”; “we may wake more broken, more wrong”. Wry, clear-eyed and uncompromising, The Caiplie Coves is the most ambitious collection yet from an essential poet.

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