Review published on February 16, 2017.
Jacob Polley’s Jackself is an interesting poetry collection that weaves different Jacks into the poems – including Jack Frost, jackdaws and Spring-Heeled Jack, whilst also telling the story of Jackself and Lamanby, his home. There are also references to nursery rhymes and folklore, and an underlying hint of menace and darkness that mixes with the countryside setting, which I particularly enjoyed. My personal favourites from this collection are ‘Jack Frost’, ‘Pact’ and ‘A Haunting’, all of which feature Jackself’s friend, Jeremy Wren. Some of the poems are easier to read than others and Polley’s poetry will take you down unexpected paths with unexpected characters, leaving you slightly uneasy at the end. It’s a collection that definitely warrants repeated reading to fully appreciate both Jackself’s life and Polley’s clever use of language. Intriguing, interesting, slightly bewildering, but certainly worth investing your time in.
Judith Griffith 4/4
Jackself by Jacob Polley
Picador 9781447290445 pbk Nov 2016