Cradleland Of Parasites: Sara Tantlinger
Reviewed By Steve Stred
I’ve been working harder to read dark poetry. When Sara Tantlinger announced her next collection, ‘Cradleland of Parasites,’ would be inspired by the Black Death, I was very intrigued. When it was offered for review, I actually paused to decide if I wanted to read it, worried I may not be an intelligent enough reader for it, but now, after having finished it, I’m so happy I took it.
What I liked: Like all of the other amazing poets I’ve read recently, Tantlinger thrives on making you feel repulsed in as few words as possible. The poems in this collection are grime-covered with mold growing through the cracks. Time and time again I pictured stacks of burning bodies in the streets, while dirt-covered homeless people scavenged on the dead’s belongings. These poems are powerful if not grotesquely bleak. Highlights for me were ‘Her Face of Bone Needles,’ ‘Death Ships,’ ‘Rattus Rattus,’ ‘The Corpses Burn,’ ‘Bloodletting,’ and ‘Cradleland of Parasites.’ Saying that, pretty much every single poem will kick you in the face and make you spit out blood.
What I didn’t like: God, another of these. Nothing! OK! Ha! Tantlinger has created such a visual group of poems that it’s hard to find anything that put me off. Her way with words is superb.
Why you should buy it: This group of poems will get your mind racing and I suspect a large number of you who read this, will do exactly what I did once done – go and Google “Black Plague” and watch in awe as her words come to life with old descriptions and illustrations. Just outstanding work and I’m jumping immediately into her novella ‘To Be Devoured.’
Cradleland Of Parasites
Bram Stoker Award-winner Sara Tantlinger delivers her CRADLELAND OF PARASITES, a harrowing and darkly gorgeous collection of poetry chronicling the death and devastation of one of history’s greatest horrors: The Black Plague.
You can buy Cradleland Of Parasites from Rooster Republic Press
Steve Stred is the author of a number of novels, novellas and collections. He has appeared in anthologies with some of Horror’s heaviest hitters.
He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with his wife, son and their dog OJ.
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