Review written by Nik Shone
In her new collection, Dark Matter, Robin Morgan explores themes that have been prevalent throughout her life as she details her experiences in ageing and her diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. The collection starts with her beautiful poem, The Magician and The Magician’s Assistant where she invites the reader into her thoughts and her sense of self. Much of the collection invites the reader to look at their perceptions of ageing and death and focuses on her love of poetry and words. Morgan has a keen awareness of mortality but explores the ideas and themes of death, rather as themes of life, claiming that it is joy that makes dying hard, as it is easy to let go when you are in pain, but not so much when you are witnessing the sweetness the world has to offer.
Through her collection, Morgan explores the woman she was once sure of, and the person she is becoming through her experience. She focusses very much on how her illness has changed her and how much she is growing into herself through her experience with Parkinson’s disease, and in the wisdom she has gained through growing small and continuing to grow older.She explores what she finds interesting, ironic, funny, and riling through her poems and gives the reader important lessons through her talent for playing with words and her unique human experience. But she also highlights what does not make her unique in her experience of being a woman, wherein a podcast about the collection she describes that if you are born a woman in a patriarchal society, you are going to have bad experiences, which she relates highly to the recent #metoo and Time’s Up movements.
Robin hones her craft through these pages and has said herself that she thinks this is her best published poetry collection to date. She chooses her words with careful thought and explores her ideas passionately. Her love for poetry inspires a beautiful sense of wonder and awe in this poet and ignites a fire in the feminist in us all. Dark Matter by Robin Morgan is an absolute masterpiece and should be shared with everyone willing to listen.