Rabbit Rabbit by Kerrin P. Sharpe

Rabbit Rabbit. Kerrin P. Sharpe (Wellington, Victoria University Press, 2016). ISBN 9781776560653. RRP $25. 72pp.

Reviewed by Malia Denny

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Whirls of bright colour give readers confusion — at first — wry smiles, puzzlement, and an understanding of Kerrin P. Sharpe’s clever, witty, and deep masterpieces.

Sharpe sews words and uses memories as thread. Each piece of material recalls a precious chest of life events. Those who dig deep will find rivers of rich cloth. Words are strategically strung together like individual beads, creating a beautiful necklace.

Here is an extract from one of her poems:

once she found blood on her towel
once she wondered if the rabbit
was cutting away her coats
(“Rabbit Rabbit”)

This verse is just one example of how the rabbit is often doubted and accused of wrongdoings. Then comes the ending of the poem:

when he needed forgiveness
the rabbit slept on a white napkin
my mother ate hunter’s oatmeal

so the rabbit knew the boss
(“Rabbit Rabbit”)

Sharpe’s clever ending ties the verses together, as the story leads us through the rabbit’s journey of misbehavings. The rabbit leaves the reader grinning — visualising a meek rabbit, often in the wrong, but sometimes in the right. However, always knowing who’s boss.

When I first read this book, puzzlement itched across my mind, as the style of writing was new to me. Then, I saw Sharpe’s vivid feelings fill up the page. She creates a visual diary of childhood through to adulthood memories. Join her as she travels to far off places through time, with precious people.

Rabbit Rabbit is an excellent collection of writing, published by Victoria University Press. In 2008, Kerrin P. Sharpe received the NZ Post Creative Writing Teacher’s Award from the International Institute of Modern Letters (IIML).

Kerrin P. Sharpe’s descriptive work in Rabbit Rabbit is one of her four poetry books. If you are interested in more poetry by Kerrin P. Sharpe, her other books in release order are: Three Days in a Wishing Well (2012), There’s a Medical Name for This (2014), and Louder (2018).

Malia Denny loves to toss words around like juggling balls, using her wild imagination to whip up a storm — reading, editing, and writing creative stories.

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