Madame Sasoo Goes Bathing

Madame Sasoo Goes Bathing

By Tim Liardet

Price: £7.00

ISBN: 978 1 907356 64 3

A beast from Antarctica, washed up on the shore of the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius, is the mystery that lies at the heart of Madame Sasoo Goes Bathing, Tim Liardet’s ninth collection of poems. In the tradition of Gauguin on Tahiti, Liardet’s ile paradisiaque is threatened from within. Unrecognisable, yet intimately familiar, the beast on its shore is a composite creature out of The Thing or a Francis Bacon nightmare, a product of the upending of nature that is climate change. This sequence explores the response to it – in the nervous arrival of Europeans in the tropics, from Darwin to Gauguin to the present speaker, in the two-way dismay caused by an Anglo-Mauritian marriage and in the story of Madame Sasoo gingerly entering the Indian Ocean, seeming to ask: teach me (because I need to learn) the art of wanting without reserve to be part of this green and boiling amplitude…