Recommended Reading: Fermata

by Monica


The fermata, also known as the hold or grand pause in musical notation, indicates that the note which it accompanies can be sustained at the performer’s discretion. In her poetry collection of the same name, Dennison Smith brings our attention to the inarticulate tender ‘truths’ which surround us every day. She lets us linger there and choose when to move on. It is that necessary pause which her elegant work demands that gives us a sense of closure with many parts of ourselves we keep trying to negate or disrupt. That moment when you “wake wanting, and reach for toast or love,” or that “there is always something called suffering” and that “time dissolves the sugar” – “here is unsweetened love.”
The collection carefully selects its moments and gives the reader the opportunity to decide whether and for how long to pause on each. It’s our own sense of control that mirrors Smith’s own – of the words on the page, of the hours in the day and the colours which transform our routines into the pieces of life we may yet learn to love

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