Hello Poetry Lovers
Welcome back to the Poetry Basket, I have missed it, I have to say. Inside this hallowed basket is a wonderful new collection by talented and prolific poet Carla Scarano D’Antonio titled Workwear. I’ve given it a well-deserved hot review, do take a look….
By Carla Scarano D’Antonio
Published by The High Window
This exciting new collection entices us with a stunning painting of clothes on the front cover by Irene D’Antonio
Divided into four sections, we have the feeling of going through a drawer full of deceptively soft items.
We are welcomed by In the beginning, an italic textured piece full of human study, a good prelude to greeting Work clothes, an interesting heading in itself.
Something so every day and yet it’s not, and presented to us in an array of inspiring structures. Judith is a detailed account of a powerful woman, and Rembrandt at Kenwood House is so intricately detailed and we feel the artist standing next to us. How would I dress for my death? is so personal to the point of pain. To My first boyfriend unravels the lengths of how a teenager would change herself for love. The necklace tells us between the lines that this was a family treasure.
A new me is a favourite, backlashing against how mature women should dress and how the poet’s identity triumphs. Lovely descriptive words.
Meeting my grandmothers, the second section pulls us in straight away. Who do you think you are ? (After C D Wright) draws us in so tightly, with in-depth insight to the poet’s life and unraveling the section that awaits us. The marvellous Meeting my grandmothers describes the hard life these women had, and the steely grip of determination they still carry. Despite everything, they still had happy marriages.
This moves us on nicely to the very stirring My mother. Space to play is nostalgic and has astounding vividness. I particularly loved the words about the grown-up’s double bed, a stirring memory for most of us. The bittersweet picture of a patriarch is painted in My father, back home and guides us into the next piece of his passing in The Angel of Death.
My way of cooking pasta tells us so very much about the poet and the emotions entwined in this staple family dish. Another great favourite is I was pregnant, I was full which is so wonderfully frank with its full account of gynaecology. Nothing is spared in this excellent piece between the professor and the pregnant patient.
Good Friday is touching as two people talk of their lives, and Moving out confronts another milestone of the next generation moving on. Touching. On this emotional level, Valentina, the longest piece in the collection, is a moving account of giving an autistic child a loving home. Although there are issues, we witness the joy of seeing a young woman grow up. Told in impressive and different styles.
The next section Stars and flags focuses on a country very close to the poet’s heart. Don’t be fooled into thinking this will be a gentler selection, it stays consistently on a powerful level. Impressions of Calgary does just that, giving us a fully painted one. Umbrella keeps up the poet’s stunning descriptions. We come to the tense piece Walking home, and the real danger we could all be in and Consider the ear carries such stunning biological detail while being so creative. I would say this is the most varied section of the book. Winter’s ending is simply profound and moving.
Masking faces, the final section, as you would guess by the contemporary title is less nostalgic and focuses the new issues we have today. However, Spanish flu takes us through poignancy and loss with an account of a mother trying to find news of her sons on the Naples docks. I love the feel of her tasting death. So brutal.
A very relevant subject in Cycling solo, and the poet takes us with her on her journey. and Isolation, sums up what we have all been through, and how it has changed us.
You can begin your journey of life anew is facing a new start when the hand of lockdown ceased and we were still blinking in the harsh light. The lesser loss has a vibrant consistency and compulsive rhyme.
Apocalypse is a powerful epilogue and the right way for us to leave this amazing collection.
Do not let this powerful book get away. Available at
Priced at £10 – worth buying.
Thank you for looking and reading, PL’s. We’ll be back with more poetry action real soon…