The World's Two Smallest Humans, By Julia Copus


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The Independent Culture

Julia Copus's collection of poems is warm, human and readable, without the wilful opacity of so much modern poetry.

Her themes are relationships, memories, lovers, families, children; she favours verbs of movement and change, such as "melt", "fall", "ripen", "wither", "rise", "throw", "lapse", "grow", "transmute", "agglutinate". In "Miss Jenkins", a poem about a retired teacher's memories, the second verse is a mirror-image of the first, so that the first line is the same as the last line, the second line the same as the penultimate line, and so on – a simple but clever device which effectively bodies the relationship between past and present.

The collection concludes with "Ghost", a lyrical suite of poems about trying to conceive via IVF (the world's two smallest humans, by the way, are fertilised eggs).