New Zealand Listener

Melancholy reigns

‘There is a black horse that rides through all my poems,” writes Elizabeth Morton in Tropes. Indeed there is.

In her second collection, there is much melancholy, sorrow and loneliness. The opening poem, suggests a search for identity against crushing conformity: “They said write it anonymously… they said swallow your name.” Elsewhere, there is huge alienation felt in a supermarket aisle (), failing connections (), anxiety about health (), death by severe allergy () and a strong sense that life and love are somewhere else in : “I press a conch shell/to my ear and hear the/happiness of other people’s lives.”

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