Review of ‘Traumatropic Heart’ by Susan Darlington

Nigel Kent - Poet and Reviewer

I think it’s rather appropriate that I close this year of drop ins and reviews with Susan Darlington’s Traumatropic Heart (Selcouth Station Press, 2021). Whilst this is her second publication it is typical of the exciting new talent that I hoped this blog would celebrate and publicise. The title is the perfect signpost for the collection. The word, ‘traumatropic,’ was a new one to me. Just in case it’s the same for you, let me explain. I believe it describes the regeneration or regrowth of a tree or plant as a result of some earlier catastrophic damage. Not only does this word flag up the characteristic natural imagery that permeates this chapbook, it signals the narrative line of the poems around which they are structured, taking us through trauma, survival and then regeneration.

Let’s start by looking at some of the earlier poems that develop the signpost of the title…

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