A few slivers of light by Jess Robus
Jennifer de Klerk: It is a rare gift to be able to distill turbulent emotions into simple meaningful words that can be used to cut to the heart of another’s pain.
It is even rarer when the poet is only 14 years old; you do not expect such honesty and insight from one whose life experience must necessarily be limited.
Whatever the trauma was that forced young Jess Robus into such introspection is not apparent, but certainly her experience will reverberate with others, supplying them with a lifeline and hope to navigate their own whirlwinds of emotion and trauma.
Everyone who has felt lonely and abandoned, who has yearned for someone to answer, to notice if only for a second, who has been bullied and ostracised, will relate to this slim volume of poetry and find “a few slivers of light”.
Most of the pieces are free, carefully chosen words spaced in deliberate harmony, but some venture into more traditional forms.
Not all are gold, but all are honest and insightful, and any dross will be burnt away by further growth and experience.
Keep an ear out for this young voice. She has something to say to all of us, especially, perhaps, to troubled teens trapped in their own darkness.
The words are augmented by deceptively simple and sensitive pen and ink drawings by her cousin Daniella Attfield, making this slim volume both sensitive and appealing.
A few slivers of light
Jennifer de Klerk is editor of Artslink.co.za