Vertigo & Ghost by Fiona Benson review – songs of shock and survival


This post is by Kate Kellaway from Books | The Guardian


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Benson’s extraordinarily moving collection is a bold confrontation of violence against women

Vertigo & Ghost is one of the darkest, bravest and most unsettling collections I have read in a while. Its first half turns to Greek mythology to explore violent crimes against women and casts Zeus as he-man, ace swimmer and serial rapist. Yet the opening poem, on the dawning of female sexuality, gives no clue of what is to follow. It describes girls gathering on a tennis court:

and sex wasn’t here yet, but it was coming,
and we were running towards it,
its gorgeous euphoric mist;

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