Pro Magenta / Be Met by Corina Copp, Review #27

-Reviewed by Claire Trévien-


Pro Magenta and Be Met is a beautifully bound reversible pamphlet with a French Dur-O-Tone Cover and translucent end-papers. One long poem features on each side of the pamphlet (Pro Magenta on one, Be Met on the other), separated by an encroaching spine. The construction of the pamphlet is a joy, and I can understand why production was restricted to 600 (which still feels like an impressively large number).


Pro Magenta sets up a conflict from the start by casting an antagonist with instructions:

Antagonist, never let
Go, never be the house-
Hold perfect soil and
Ideal climate, be a love
That does not know
How to know human
Genre crashed on
The purblind sea

This extract is fairly typical of the rest of the poem, short lines that twist down, refusing to give you too much footing. Fantasy and colour are a trend throughout so that you feel a pull between the stolidness of being and a flood of more imaginative feeling. ‘I / Believe in fantasy—/ Not resigning’ she tells us, and indeed nothing feels quite set in stone, though individual moments might be, such as the appearance of the titular colour:

An agent is
Coloring her lips in
With this color
Agent is six
Now and his
Coloring book is Art
Nouveau Figurative Designs
By Alphonse Marie
Mura Jr. and he is
Filing in the Fall
And Winter lips with

Is it a hymn to baroque gaudiness or an expression of consumerist hatred? As elsewhere in the poem you feel like rules of gendered behaviour are being dissected and not entirely discarded.

In ‘Be Met’, we haven’t left the world of colour but it takes a slightly different turn, beginning:

And she stood before
Them as a whole
That went with, all
True, facing an
Interior mood,
Darkest purple
Imaginable in a
Chance encounter
And, daresay,
Talks of coloration
Keep us safe
From the harm we’re
Able to cause,
But I am not above
Finding a cuff-
Link formal

While I found Pro Magenta quite internalized in its reflection, Be Met is like a flashy entrance, full of sparkling, and snobbish humour (‘Ever dyed the / Ashes a / Dinner color / She did not in- / Vite her friend to / Get seen’). The format is similar to Pro Magenta, thin lines cascading, but the energy is different. Where Pro Magenta made you feel you were walking down a winding staircase where each step is a cause for uncertainty or reflection, Be Met is more of a helter-skelter in energy, speeding you downwards.

This December, I have given myself the task of reviewing one pamphlet a day to raise money for next year’s Saboteur Awards. You can help by donating, or sharing the link using the hashtag #pamphletparty. I have given myself the aim of writing at least 300 words for each, a lower word-count than the usual reviews on Sabotage, in the hopes of making it more manageable! Here’s a link to the previously published reviews in this project!