Title: Datura: An Anthology of Esoteric Poesis
Publisher: Scarlet Imprint
Editor: Ruby Sara
Price: £15/$22.62 (paperback)
Datura is the first volume of poetry printed by illustrious occult publisher Scarlet Imprint. A collection of poetry, and essays about poetry and its relation to magic, it includes offerings from such well-known members of the magickal and pagan community as T. Thorn Coyle, Erynn Rowan Laurie, P. Sufenas Virius Lupus, and Rebecca Buchanan. The various poems range from very brief works (the shortest is eight lines) to much longer pieces that run several pages. The essays tend to be longer, covering such topics as the poetry of magic (written by Paul Newman), becoming poetry one’s self (Erynn Rowan Laurie), and the importance of personal experience as a tool to create poetry (Mr. VI).
The range of topics in the poetry included in Datura ranges from the mythological to the personal and from there to the ritualistic; devotional prayer and effusive praise sit in these pages side by side. There are mentions of the Wild Hunt, of Bealtaine, of Ogma and Odin and Persephone, Inanna and Agni and Anat, of ghosts and witchcraft and dreams. A great majority of the poetic works found here are done in free verse, but the styles range from the mannered and measured to the deliciously chaotic.
The title, an acknowledgement of the role played in the ecstatic and shamanic rites of several cultures by the poisonous and hallucinogenic plant, calls to mind lean forms swaying in the dark night, feverish by the fire, drums pounding, eyes clouded with visions granted of other worlds beyond our own. The excellence of the works in this anthology have no difficulty meeting and exceeding the expectations produced by such a title; the entire collection of poems and essays offer a smorgasbord of heady and lyrical verses and enlightening essays, and the slim volume is best sipped a few pages at a time, like a brew so potent that to consume it all within one sitting might madden the mind or allow it to transcend mere earthly ties, depending on the reader. Datura is an invaluable addition to the library of any pagan, magickal, or occult-inclined reader with a taste for the divine and the delirious.
[Jennifer Lawrence likes the fey and the strange, which explains most of her friends. Her interests include gardening, herbalism, mythology and fairy tales, theology, Celtic music, role-playing games, horror movies, and the martial arts. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including Aphelion, Jabberwocky 4, Cabinet Des Fees, Goblin Fruit, and the Bibliotheca Alexandrina anthology Unbound: A Devotional Anthology in Honor of Artemis. She lives with her husband, her younger daughter, five cats, a dog, and a houseful of gargoyles somewhere near Chicago.]