Forms of Protest

Title: Forms of Protest

By: Hannah Silva

Publisher: Penned in the Margins

Released: 2013

Hannah Silva manipulates words and poetic forms, to begin a discussion about the many themes and topics close to her heart. It is evident from her passionate phrasing, and the rhythmic use of poetic techniques, that the poems are intended for performance. However, on the page the poems and occasional prose pieces, remain alternatively spikey and explosive; allowing Silva to tackle intense themes. Division between people due to technology is one of the motifs repeated throughout. Sexuality and the nature of art are also amongst the topics discussed.

Silva does all of this alongside the use of her unique sense of humour. Sub-textual and overt jokes are scattered throughout the collection. One of my favourite pieces is the poem ‘Insults’; it consists of a list of insults that range from the unusual (‘You are a poor man’s metaphor’); to the outright surreal (‘You are a New Age Mini Me’). Silva also takes on  modern cultural aspects and twists them into something humerous. For example ‘@Prosthetics’ uses humour to explore the isolation and sense of dissociation that twitter instills. Silva comments ‘A little girl cuts the arm off and the eye out of her doll #apositivething’, denoting her fear for the children who have grown up with the detachment from reality, that excessive internet use can entail.

Silva commands control over her poems and the topics they discuss. She does this without curtailing the far- reaching extent of the themes and styles that she uses. It is an impressive collection no-matter which way you look at it.




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