Parted cover

justina semetaite

A5, 28pp, €5, November 2011
ISBN 979-10-90394-23-0
The cover image is a detail from Boat by Migle Semetaite.

why have we not heard of Justina Semetaite until now? with Parted this wrong will be corrected. when she talks to herself about good-byes “The garden is empty, or is it my eyes?” when she writes postcards “Through your white, glossy moss.” when in the long powerful closing poem “maybe the blossoms of books, maybe the sound of trees, maybe the wall, greeting an old woman’s flickers.” this is just the beginning, right? lars palm, author of road song for

From the opening lines of Justina Semetaite’s Parted, “The jelly shadows of the birds / sitting on the fence,” we know we are in good poetic company: the kind that’s able to think laterally about language, treat it as the physical stuff that it is, whilst also working it lyrically, languidly, in a book as private yet communal as singing the national anthem (but which one? ).

-—so good to be back—-
such a sadness / a mouthful of mustard

Semetaite’s zeugma (are birds on the fence or just their jelly shadows?) and other happy language disruptions (choosing an ‘of’ in place of a ‘to’ because it sounds & means better) are proof if any were needed that being ‘between’ languages can be a definite advantage. Her idiosyncratic metaphors are fresh as drunk energy, her sounds satisfying as the “pop of a stranger’s umbrella”. Emily Critchley, author of ImaginaryLovePoems