By: Lauren Gordon
Publisher: Horse Less Press
Although these poems have a key link to children’s literature (Nancy Drew specifically) they are beautifully serious and adult in nature. However the innocence of a child’s eye is also frequently preserved; giving the poems a dual layered, haunted, quality overall.
The repetition and re-ordering of words which Gordon uses also gives the poems a demented nature- as if they are confused about their own identity. This is a good thing however as the poems then go on to explore this identity clash in detail- this aspect is what fuels the drama of the poems.
The poems are fairly short and spikey despite being split into “Chapters” in part one and “Articles” in part two. This gives the writing a clean and immediate sense, yet also allows Gordon to express complex themes to the reader through intense suggestion.
Overall Keen is an experimental poetry text that uses free verse to poke modern and adult features into well-known and predictable stories. The concept of the books seems at once strange and natural.