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The Crack Magazine

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Unexhausted Time by Emily Berry

I first came across Emily Berry’s work at university when the seminar leader handed us copies of Aura. At the time, I didn’t know how comforting that poem would become when dealing with my own grief months later, so Berry is a poet I’ll always feel fond of. Her latest collection, Unexhausted Time, blends the ordinary and the surreal to explore death, creativity and alienation. It’s the kind of work that makes you want to get your pen out and pull it apart, uncovering layers of meaning over a coffee. Though I was puzzled by one poem in particular — about a woman shitting into a tortoise’s mouth — the collection included so many moving and thought-provoking pieces, with News and Gods being particular stand-outs. The opening poem, which is the longest, is one I’ll definitely return to, if only for the line: ‘The intimacy is too much or it’s not enough and the soul… yawns open for lack of reply.’ MG