After the End of the World encapsulates a singular poem which, as the name suggests, immerses the reader in a post-apocalyptic Earth.

When I first picked this chapbook up and read the title, I assumed it was going to be a dystopian tear-jerker; a tragedy in every way possible. I expected it to remind me of long forgotten friendships and all my regrets. So, I settled down with a warm cup of valerian and lemon tea, got my tissues at the ready, and turned the first page.

And then I turned the next.

And the next.

When I finished the poem, I didn’t become a blubbering mess recollecting dark days. Instead, I was filled with hope.

After the End of the World isn’t a poem of a broken and slowly dying world. It isn’t the typical tale told by the voices of remaining humans watching themselves loose everything they once knew. Instead this is a world brimming with healing, where life pours ‘out of every crack.’ It is a world told by the Pacific Ocean, by the pigeons and the abandoned honeybuns stuck in vending machines downtown.

‘PIGEONS WILL TAKE OVER MY 

CHILDHOOD HOME AND RUN IT LIKE A 

HOTEL. AFTER THE PIGEONS, THE RABBITS.

 AFTER THE RABBITS, 

THE FICUSES.’

In this post-apocalypse, mother nature breathes a sigh of relief and can final reclaim what was taken from her. The ‘soft-skinned two-legged monsters’ are gone and remain distant tales. The rainforests and the savannas all come alive through evocative images, and as you read,  ‘what’s left of the wild animals’ run freely – and beautifully – within your mind.

‘DOGS WITHOUT OWNERS WILL BAND

TOGETHER AS PACKS AND SCAVENGE THE

DEADENED SUPERMARKETS AND

RESTAURANTS FOR FOOD. THEY WILL LIVE.

THRIVE, EVEN.’

In an interview with Porridge Magazine, Deglane said she uses ‘poetry as a mean to heal,’ ‘to make sense’ of her feelings and experiences. After the End of the World perfectly exemplifies this. Within its brevity, and the quiet moments it captures, is a potent message of overcoming.

‘After the End of the World’ is a poignant poem that delves deep into the heart. Wanda Deglane describes herself as a ‘night-blooming desert flower from Arizona’, and after reading this poem, I cannot think of any other description more suitable. Afterall, her words bloom, they truly bloom.

A.M. Reid

I’m an avid writer, reader and self-proclaimed tea addict. I share my ramblings here.

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