Emma Jones’ The Striped World – Reviewed by Jade Cuttle

A restless energy ripples beneath the surface of Emma Jones’ first collection The Striped World, its tidal thematic thread carried by the ebb and flow of surprise and shifting instability. In examining the endless turmoil of the external world, with the shifting of seasons and seas, the collection ends in examining the shifting tides within the self. In the poem ‘Creator’, a ‘second self’ slides out from the first, rearing its glossy head in proclamation of independence and refusing to be tamed. In another, the mind flares out as though it were a separate matter, lived in ‘like a paradisial ape lives in a garden’. Indeed, there is the sense that these poems are alive and cannot be tamed.

Jones jacket

In the poem ‘Painting’, the painting leans out, forgetful, and reality is forged and fashioned in the shadow of the paintbrush, like poetry in the shadow of the pen. And yet, these poems escape their shadow, they are not anchored to their page; instead, they emerge like the “shipwreck that might rise” in the poem ‘Waiting’. It is written in this beautiful collection that “poems are pearls”, and indeed, these poems are precious and should be nestled close to the heart.


Jade Cuttle is studying at the University of Cambridge, is an editor at Cambridge Creatives and a regular contributor for a range of magazines. She is a recipient of two Foyle Young Poets Awards, has won competitions including Ledbury Poetry Festival Competition, National Student Poetry Competition and BBC Proms Poetry Competition – recently featured on Radio 3 – and is looking to publish her first pamphlet. Tweets @JadeCuttle

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