And to Ecstasy

Marjon Mossammaparastan

And to Ecstasy
Upswell Publishing
1 March 2022

And to Ecstasy

Marjon Mossammaparastan

And to Ecstasy is a poetic journey through space and time, projecting a transcendental element of reality. In her exquisite poems, Marjon Mossammaparast explores the physical experience of being human, bound to four dimensions, matching it with the belief we are also spirit beings. At its core, this work contemplates the desire to move beyond the limitations of bodies, and into an expanded metaphysical notion of identity, carried by intuition.

In its arrangement in three parts, the poet uses displaced fragments and mere glimpses; through call and response of landscapes and countries, there is a constancy and insistence of reconciliation. This is the language of the exile: not just geographically transposed, but through a spirit constrained by the physical and seeking return home -

Where all that is vibrant vibrates

beyond the sticking place of names

to the borderfields where signs change their value:

Split a piece of wood, and I am there; 

lift up the stone, and you will find me.

Cover artwork: Penny Coss


In And to Ecstasy, Marjon Mossammaparast crafts a glimmering dream-like collection of poetry divided into three parts: [There], [Here] and F i e l d.

Mossammaparast is an award-winning poet, living and teaching in Melbourne. She has lived across many countries, having resided in Iran, Italy, China, Macau and now Melbourne, Australia. These places are the roots of this collection.

In [There] and [Here], the poems are attached to a place or a time. They focus on the relationship between landscape and time: history is drawn into the present and landscape is projected into the past. The collection invites different interpretations depending on perspective, as encapsulated by the collection’s opening lines: ‘Body in time, always moving, past clouds, finding an equator/ Moving time, body always, past finding clouds in an equator / Past always moving, body, finding clouds an Equator in Time.’ I particularly enjoyed the way Mossammaparast’s poems are laid out on the page, in two columns almost as if there are two voices speaking to (or perhaps over) each other, inviting you to read them in different orders.

I also felt a thrill of recognition reading her poems set in Melbourne, for how she describes the taste of the air, the feeling of the landscape in ‘M1 Freeway’ and ‘Glen Waverley’, and the recovering bushland as ‘black skeletons in green’, which captures an ambivalence in the Australian landscape.

In F i e l d, Mossammaparast turns towards cosmology, to the collision of science and spirituality. I found this section the most compelling. Mossammaparast renders landscapes that are grounded yet otherworldly. Poems such as ‘Heart’ and ‘Interpretation’ stood out for the elegance and thoughtfulness of the phrasing.

Overall, And to Ecstasy is a fascinating collection. Although in some cases I found the richness of the language overshadowed meaning, the focus on perspective and interpretation was particularly exciting. I would highly recommend picking this one up.

Stephanie King is a bookseller at Readings Emporium.

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