I'm new to erotic poetry, a combination I'd never really considered much before I came across Penelope Jones' darkly passionate Iniquitous Solace: The Aftermath. To be honest, I wasn't really sure how it would work. Good poetry is sparse, relying on exactly the right words to paint a picture with minimal strokes, the rhythm of the words and the shapes they make on the page and in your mind adding layers to that picture, deepening and enriching it.
Erotica strives to use the right words but, to be blunt, it uses a Hell of a lot more strokes to paint that picture! Good erotica builds up and teases, and describes; it fills in the gaps that poetry leaves.
The poetry of Penelope Jones combines the best of both forms, deftly drawing the reader in deep with beautiful economy and leading the way through a story of longing, uncertainty, vulnerability. The poetry is often harsh and crude, but it's a crudeness wielded quite deliberately, a rawness that is channelled to striking effect. Iniquitous Solace: The Aftermath is full of poems with a dark, sensuous edge, a sequence of pieces that draws the reader into a fragmented portrait of a woman's journey through need and desire, through being wanted and dominated and abandoned. It's moving and powerful, explicit and erotic, and ultimately, defiant and spirited.
And highly recommended.
(reviewed 20 days after purchase)