Barbed Wire Cage by Natasha Helen Crudden: Poetry Review

You've got to love the idea of the sole remaining member of the old gang now being a gatecrasher.

Natasha Helen Crudden's thematically diverse collection of poetry, Barbed-Wire Cage (available at Amazon), is full of rich imagery like this.



In a piece that could be characterised as love poetry, an addressor appears to take responsibility for the addressee’s heartbreak, heartache or mistreatment. In another piece, the speaker appears to express gratitude at having known the addressee. There's a respect here for the feelings of others, and the emotional intelligence of these lyrics gives other pieces - where she is less generous about the subject or target - more depth through contrast.

There's a personal authenticity to most of the poetry - with any overt politics rare. Each piece has its strengths and its rhythms. Natasha uses alliterative and assonant (frequently internal) rhyme, combining clever phrases that often confound expectation and play down cliché.
The poet identifies as "punk". Her aesthetic as a performer ties in with this concept - and these poems are no doubt great live performance pieces. Natasha draws on the theme of gatecrashing more than once. Chrysalis suggests that the current generation of artists will form a palimpsest over the last, using TippEx and markers of various kinds. Although a statement of artistic endeavour that each generation makes, Natasha articulates the view with a unique take. Herein lies the punk sensibility, but all is conveyed with the decency of - say - Joe Strummer, rather than the ostensible obnoxiousness or outright anarchy of Johnny Rotten.

You can get Barbed-Wire Cage at Amazon UK and US. You can follow Natasha Helen Crudden on Facebook and Twitter.