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REVIEWED BY BEATRIZ COPELLO
Repulsion Thrust is a large collection of poetry by Magdalena Ball, which is divided into three sections: Black Dog and Other Enigmas, The Crucible, and Only Rock and Roll. Each section is rich, original and very creative in the use of language. Ball seems to mould her words into intricate and elegant stanzas. In this, her first published collection of poetry Ball takes the readers on a journey which launches them, not only into the painful and desperate world of a mind tortured by depression, but also into a world of abstractions, human relations and existential conundrums. Ball's poetry is intriguing, nostalgic and at times embedded with sadness and pain particularly the section that deals with the 'Black Dog' as the debilitating illness -depression is often called. In depression life stands still, life passes by, self-knowledge and identity are pain. In her poem Omphalos Ball clearly describes this: meanwhile flowers grow and die people sicken, recover it's night and day and night again not braking that concentrated unhappy contemplation
surely by now
you know something
The imagery in Ball's poetry is very vivid, there is 'stand still' moments but also a sense of going somewhere, of moving, of reaching for something. Ball
says in Impact Enigma
It's an endless drive
down Sisyphus highway
the car a rock
that never stops moving
towards a destination
Ball is a talented poet who with sophisticated verses delves in the past and analyses it with a precise and elegant style like in pale club of wind.
Some of Ball's poems deal with memories of broken hearts and broken dreams, memories expressed not with sentimentality or paroxysms but with gentleness, beauty and depth, like in her poem Brass Ring. In the poem another story, Ball with words, paints the desolation and despair of a psychiatric ward capturing the mood and despair of those who see suicide as an option. Ball's poetry handles the mundane, the real, the very earthy matter, and arranges it into a well constructed symphony words. In Hailstorm Ball says:
in the storm's eye
the damage is clear
littered truths and stolen dreams
arent's worth of lies
plays out like a theatre
remnants of your heyday
the illusion of freedom
moths at your cashmere.
Even science is utilised in Ball's verses, like in Quantum Crucible, The Visible Spectrum and 10 digits of e. Ball's poetry is wholesome, blending the rational and the irrational, the physical and the metaphysical, together with the real and the surreal. The result is a an unusual and compelling book. Repulsion Thrust is a poetry book to be read very slowly in order to savour every word, every metaphor, and to immerse oneself in the rich and colourful imagery, to be touched by despair but also by hope and love.