Nefelibata by Penny Lane

A review of the poetry collection Nefelibata by Penny Lane.

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Nefelibata is the debut poetry collection by local poet Penny Tigerlily Lane. What first struck me about the collection was the titles that are used. The title of the collection itself and the titles of the individual poems were all words that I’d never heard of. Normally I’m not a fan of titles that need an explanation of what the words themselves mean, but Nefelibata used the concept to good effect. They’re each there to add an extra layer to the poems themselves and used well and consistently throughout. I found myself, after reading the poem, going back to the title and connecting the meaning to the themes of the poem as well as finding messages that I’d initially missed.

I enjoy Penny’s poetry, having seen her perform at open mics and events, but reading the collection has given me a different kind of appreciation for her work. At performances you often don’t get the chance to fully absorb the poem if—like me—you’re not the best at getting the themes and undertones of a poem quickly. Having the time to mull over a poem and reread the words to fully grasp it, I find, makes it a lot more powerful.

Penny does a fantastic job of showing the different and varied stages of heartbreak and longing through the imagery she creates. It also has one of my favourite lines of poetry that I’ve read:

Before I tie the memory of your kiss too tightly in metaphor to be unwound back into reality

‘Gnossienne’ from Nefelibata by Penny Lane

This is a very well put-together collection of poetry. The poems follow the central theme and, overall, it tells a story, which is something that is often underappreciated in poetry collections. It isn’t a collection of random poems, it’s a story that’s told through poetry.

Nefelibata by Penny Lane is definitely worth picking up and giving a read or two.

David Chitty was born and raised in Thanet in the 90s. He devotes most of his energies to writing fantasy fiction novels.

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