Dorothy Nimmo - The Wigbox

The Wigbox - Dorothy Nimmo

A review of a favourite poet of mine posted by another poet, James Munro, on his blog. I agree with every word he says.

 

* * * * *

 

When I first came across Dorothy Nimmo, I thought she was like Sylvia Platt – only more so.

 

Mother has made you a house to live in
and she’ll make sure you live in it.
Mother has made you a bed to lie on,
she’ll cut bits off you if they don’t fit.

 

The obsession with pleasing – and being unable to please – her parents. The ever-present temptation to suicide.

 

Lying in the warm soapy water I do not
slit my wrists. I take only one sleeping pill.

 

The feeling that she shouldn’t be here at all – that it’s the wrong part in the wrong play:

 

This is the dressing-room I know is mine,
when they begin I’ll recognise my cue.
For God’s sake tell me, what’s the opening line?
Who am I? What am I supposed to do?

 

When they begin I’ll recognise my cue.
You’re on! they whisper and I face the light.
Who am I? What am I supposed to do?
Forgive me, mother. Have I got that right?

 

My voice is strangled. I’m awake. I shout
I know there’s something I must do today
and I can’t do it. You must write me out.
It’s not my part and this is not my play. 

 

But see the whole of this wonderful poem – “Dream Play” (below)

 

She had been an actress, spent ten years on the stage. Now as a poet and person she was not even one of the audience. She was outside the theatre in the dark, peering in through a window.

 

I was getting smaller and smaller
[...]

 

Read the whole review HERE.

 

Dorothy Nimmo - Wigbox cover