Monday 24 May 2021

Review by Elizabeth Chell of "GREAT MASTER / small boy" by Liz Lefroy


Liz Lefroy’s pamphlet of poetry is innovative, beautifully composed and is as unique as Beethoven himself. Just like Beethoven’s 9th symphony, she combines two art forms, traditional and prose poetry. The artistry of her language, the vivid reflections journey us through the past and present life of Bonn and Vienna. Her themes lend themselves to the Romantic music of Beethoven, merging into the classical tones of her surroundings. 

We are mesmerised by the budding dancer in the poems, the toil and hard work as she finally flowers, and then her voyage into motherhood. The power of Lefroy's words places us beside her; lines such as ‘I  survive fleshy awkwardness’ resonate with our own adolescent selves. Of her pregnant self in the bath, the phrase ‘beached on the rounded island of myself’  is such a perfect description; for me this feeling has never been so adequately illustrated.

The strength of Lefroy's poetry lies in the marriage of the beauty of Beethoven's music, the beast of war, and the war within him, his deafness. Reading through her work you are reminded that, although Beethoven wrote beautiful music, there is often an undertone of sadness and despair. This is a story of life and development of beauty triumphing over despair; it is an extraordinary accomplishment and an absolute pleasure to read, again, and again.

About the reviewer
Elizabeth Chell is currently studying for an MA in Creative Writing at Leicester University. She is a full-time teacher and lives in Leicester. 

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