You can never get away from where you come from. This is poetry that confronts those difficult connections, gutsy work with a deep understanding of people. Tough, staring down the truth. Loving, too, but never sentimental.
From tender observations of children to the tortuous witnessing of a mother’s dying, Jennifer Compton’s poems zing and sting with the joys and complexities of real living. Her ‘dazzling intimacies’ and sharp, but generous watchfulness of all the world lead to swooping narratives that are poignant, funny, sensitive and fiercely intelligent. Now You Shall Know is a wondrously wide-ranging, disarming and haunting collection.
This is generous, mercurial poetry with linguistic and dramatic verve and telling silences. In Now You Shall Know Jennifer Compton claims her space con brio: I think of a rider or ballet dancer and also of a long-distance traveller since these poems cover so much ground. I warmed to the intimate, ironic assurance, to the trust placed in the reader and to the almost palpable presence of this witty, provocative, perceptive raconteuse prepared to tell me, in confidence, everything. There are such sparkling images in this book, and such acknowledged darkness too, a truthfulness and brusque compassion ‘as human as anything is’.