Mr Ferndean Takes Stock
By Barbara Marsh.
Mr Ferndean? He’s in the neighbourhood – not a relative, but familiar, his stumbling blocks and layered calamities, the triumphs that assail him every once in a while. This new pamphlet from Barbara Marsh follows Mr Ferndean on his quest for resolution with his dog, cat and parrot, his friend Mr Calhoun and the woman of his dreams. A side-step from the locative and audacious agency of her first collection To the Boneyard, these poems illuminate the tangles of a quiet life as Mr Ferndean passes through the everyday. He’s in the neighbourhood – and so are we.
Barbara Marsh is an American poet, musician and teacher living in London. Her debut collection, To the Boneyard, is published by Eyewear. Her poems have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies and she is the author of the first book-length monograph on American poet Ruth Stone. She was signed to Geffen Records with her Anglo-American duo The Dear Janes. In 2015 she won the Troubadour International Poetry Prize. This is Mr Ferndean’s first outing.
Barbara Marsh is a wonderful writer. In what she chooses to notice, she has the eye of a painter. She is an image maker of great dexterity. But with that she brings to her poems the obfuscations and reversals, along with the highs, of what an inner life is. Her poems are provisional in the way the world is, therefore they embody a genuine truth about how we are. I love her work. - John Stammers