You Darling Thing

Four Way. Sept. 2018. 88p. ISBN 9781945588228. pap. $15.95. POETRY
This new collection from the award-winning Ferrell (Beasts for the Chase) opens with "The Date," but the young women parading through its lines are "gloved & blind-/folded." Clearly, Ferrell's exploration throughout of love and marriage is going to be anything but sentimental. An eponymous savage bride proclaims, "You need me like ice needs the mountain," passion's on-the-edge riskiness is summed by the line, "Every sixteen-year-old girl likes// A murderer for an admirer," and "You are sexier that anyone I've ever met" opens the poem "Oh You Absolute Darling," a phrase muttered by Anna Karenina's Count Vronsky to his horse—but the horse ended up dead. "I don't mind living alone" proclaims one speaker, but that's hard in a dark world defined by "The inventions of lust, the pageantry of what." Another poem prevaricates: "There is nothing beautiful here/ However, I may want it."
VERDICT Eerie, otherworldly, and enthrallingly dangerous, this smart, disquieting collection should be handed to sophisticated readers.
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