Of Mutability by Jo Shapcott | Unmemorable Poetry with A Moment | Review

What does it mean when I can’t remember you the next day?

Of Mutability by Jo Shapcott

Insomnia and night shift have done wonders for how much poetry I read. I can focus on things enough to get through them, or my brain registers more easily that this is not worth a deep read and skims like crazy. Sadly, Jo Shapcott fell into the skim stack!

Shapcott wasn’t off to a good start for no fault of her own!

Jo Shapcott did have the odds stacked against her! I order the book from Readings.pk thinking I would get the lovely green edition for my collection! I was wrong!

Things didn’t get better when I read it! While many may describe the book as soft, I would describe it as boring. Poetry is personal, intensely so, and keeping that in mind (and average ratings on Goodreads) I left the book three stars. I do, however, think that the titular poem “Of Mutability” is fantastic! It’s when Shapcott utters;

It’s two thousand and four and I don’t know a single soul who doesn’t feel small among the numbers. Razor small.

Jo Shapcott ~ Of Mutability

We’re reminded that we live in a world that’s falling apart. That we’re also falling to pieces in the middle of a pandemic, and those few instances of connection, one of which Shapcott offers in this poem, is sometimes all we have to get through the day.

Too many of the best cells in my body
are itching, feeling jagged, turning raw
in this spring chill. It's two thousand and four
and I don't know a soul who doesn't feel small
among the numbers. Razor small.
Look down these days to see your feet
mistrust the pavement and your blood tests
turn the doctor's expression grave.

Look up to catch eclipses, gold leaf, comets,
angels, chandeliers, out of the corner of your eye,
join them if you like, learn astrophysics, or
learn folksong, human sacrifice, mortality,
flying, fishing, sex without touching much.
Don't trouble, though, to head anywhere but the sky.

Of Mutability by Jo Shapcott

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: