Lorraine Mariner - Furniture (4 stars)

Lorraine Mariner - Furniture



It’s a far cry from Bridget Jones, but there’s still something about Furniture that is likely to appeal to the chick-lit generation. British poet Lorraine Mariner’s first full-length poetry collection is suffused with the loneliness of big city life and drenched in the heartache caused by love’s disappointments. Opener ‘Stanley’, a gently witty account of a break-up with an imaginary boyfriend, accurately sets the tone for the coming pages, in which the Disney-tinged childhood romantic dreams remembered in ‘My Beast’ fold in neatly with the adult pain of ‘Assertiveness Role Play’ and ‘Second Wives’.

It all creates an innocent, often humorous world that’s shattered by the Forward Prize-nominated ‘Thursday’, a breakneck-speed portrayal of a journey to work on the morning of the London bombings. And while there are some duds, it’s this powerful emotional contrast that ensures Furniture is a touching set you’ll want to revisit repeatedly.

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