Yield is the third poetry collection by poet and novelist Claire Dyer. An essentially personal examination of a mother and son as the son becomes a daughter. Incredibly honest, Dyer conjures up scenes of private moments from birth to clinic visits, sorting clothes, tea at the Ritz, the parental pain of feeling unable to help, the parental pride in a child’s courage and honesty.
The word honest is key to this experience, shared with us by poet and mother. When I finished reading this slim collection I was left with a sense of the overwhelming love of a family and individuals where gender at the same time matters totally, and not at all. What matters are child and parent.
My favourite three poems? For exuberance, ‘Doing Cartwheels at the Ritz’. For heart-rending practicality, ‘Wardrobe’. For the goblin, ‘Body Clock III’.
And the line that stayed with me for days afterwards… ‘If I’d been braver, wiser, kinder…’ which features in the series of ‘Clinic’ poems. Isn’t that the best of poetry, when it echoes in our thoughts, when it brings previously undiscovered perspectives on life, when it puts us into someone else’s shoes for just a moment.
A powerful, moving, sometimes startling collection which opens a privileged window for us into the world of a private transformation. Joyous, difficult, full of love.
BUY THIS BOOK
Read my reviews of Claire Dyer’s novels, The Perfect Affair and The Last Day.
If you like this, try:-
‘Sentenced to Life’ by Clive James
‘Ghost Pot’ by John Wedgwood Clarke
‘Hold Your Own’ by Kate Tempest
And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
YIELD by @ClaireDyer1 #bookreview #poetry https://wp.me/p5gEM4-58l via @SandraDanby