Cradleland of Parasites by Sara Tantlinger is a deeply unsettling collection of poems about the Black Plague.
I’m still very new to trying to focus more on poetry, and I’m so grateful that I gave this one a read, even if I felt like I was torturing myself a bit considering the content and my anxiety around the current pandemic! 🙂
Let’s dive in!
My Thoughts on Cradleland of Parasites by Sara Tantlinger
This collection, while all focused around the same topic, has such a great variety! It covers viewpoints from those that are sick, those that are in the plague masks, those that deal with the dead and dying, the germs, and so much more.
Some of these poems are eerie, some are heartbreaking, one made me chuckle with it’s one line of humor mixed in with the darkness (Preventative Measures).
The one thing that tiles these all in common are that they do not shy away from the details of the sicknesses. Some in more brutal detail than others.
My favorites from this collection include:
- The Seige of Caffa
- Second Pandemic
- Village Gravediggers
- Cradleland of Parasites
- Bills of Mortality
- Preventative Measures
- Yersinia Pestis
- A Universal Constant
- Herd Immunity
- With the Worm in Her Head
That last one, With the Worm in Her Head, is going to haunt me forever. When I finished reading it, I thought- Okay great, now every time I get a migraine and start losing words… I’m going to think it’s a tapeworm.
My Favorite Passages from Cradleland of Parasites
there are those who walk on —
silently infectious as contagious ghosts
spreading their haunted air onward.
How will you ever protect anyone
from infections hunger like this,
when you never bothered to shield
the sick and compromised immune systems
around you for the sake of misinformation?
She loses syllables at first,
as if her lips refused to form
a’s and oh’s, later in the day
whole words disappear.
My Final Thoughts on Cradleland of Parasites
This is a great collection to pick up if you want to spike your anxiety during the current pandemic. There were so many lines that could be tied into the current situation.
A must-read for fans of horror poetry! Go snag a copy of this one today!
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Thanks for reading!