A forensic style in The Hospital by Ben Barton

April 1st, 2019 § 0 comments

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The Hospital, by Ben Barton, is reviewed by Rachel Playforth in The Frogmore Papers 93:

Anyone who has ever spent time in hospital will instantly recognise the experience depicted in this collection, from the disrupted sleep to the bittersweet excitements of visiting hours: They leave me smiling/Tears desalinated, the sting removed (‘Friends’). The heavily medicated dreamscape that is the inpatient’s mental life is punctuated with terrible routine indignities and dehumanising red tape, each day filled with a new embarrassment (‘Two’). Ben Barton has an appropriately forensic style as he considers how our bodies can betray us but also fascinate: Limbs piled up like old books/An atlas of this distant body (‘Body Horror’). Ever present is the shadow of death, leavened by glimpses of new life, hope, and recovery, and the NHS staff to whom this book is dedicated.

Order Ben Barton’s poetry collection for £10 plus p&p: The Hospital.

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