Reviews of Recent Poetry from Cape, Indigo Dreams and The Poetry Bus

The High Window


Vicki Feaver’s I Want! I Want! reviewed by John Wheway

I Want! I Want! by Vicki Feaver. £10. Jonathan Cape. ISBN: 978-1787331815

A young girl, reading a stolen copy of Blake’s poems by torchlight and seeing herself with a Blake drawing of a child with ‘one foot on a ladder/reaching to the moon,/crying ‘I want! I want!’, decides ‘to be a poet.’ Vicki Feaver’s title poem appears as an epigraph ahead of the body of this wonderful collection, as notable for its rich picture of the psychology of desire as for its high poetic achievement. The child reads by torchlight after hours, and her book is ‘stolen’ – these transgressive actions creating an intensely personal version of the family aspirations of ‘The Ladder’, the poem that opens the main collection, showing her family driven by ‘the mantra/Climb higher! Climb higher!’, with mother ‘pushing us from behind.’ As…

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