white lies are harmless by Jeanne Macdonald,
I was giving him away
yet no one seemed to click on
to the physical ache inside me.
There was glamour, smiling faces.
Congratulations: how my hand limped.
Yet no one seemed to click on
to the fact I was losing him to her.
Losing a lifetime of sharing space:
being his number one.
Our genetic thread stitching a final tack
keeping me firmly in my place -
"Jeanne Macdonald is a poet whose ability to 'open (her) own heart to the darkness' gives perspective to this account of her life. Though she questions, slily, firmly, the femininity of the fifties she grew up into – "Do I want to be turned into a silk purse?" she asks in Miss Piggy and Me – there's a modesty about her that is missing from the world today. Hers is an unsubmissive modesty that makes for a quietly effective poetry. Hers is a poetry that can occasionally evoke a world in a single word."
"I did not spot any 'white lies' to fit with the title, but many of the individual poems such as Her Circular Knitting Needle and I Love a Lassie stood out.
"Here are no deep reflective philosophical thoughts, but bits of life and incidents told somewhat dispassionately, making up a reasonably successful (first?) collection. One might look forward to the poet proceeding into longer poems with more dramatic build-up.
Eric Ratcliffe writing in New Hope International Review Online.
This book, along with Heather Young's A Kind of Mink, was launched in a highly successful event at Durham Literature Festival on 27 September 2004.