Sunday, 23 December 2012

Unthinkable Skies

I have been giving Juliet Wilson's poems a while to brew, I bought a copy of her book Unthinkable Skies from her a couple of months ago. Juliet is a keen environmentalist and lover of the natural world, and many of her poems reflect this, both admiration of nature and fear for its destruction feature prominently. 
In 'Amazonia' the wreckage of a plane lost in the jungle is subsumed under the encroaching urbanisation:
"Now the bones and wreckage
lie in arid suburban gardens
where at night, the ghosts of howler monkeys scream
and extinct parrots flutter through restless dreams."

Understated descriptions, like this in Autumn Red:
"Slanted light glances
on rosehips
and five shades of rowan berries."
In 'Evening Rain':
dance across the sky.
Chimney pots
glow with evening."
In 'Open Windows':
"Moon shadows luxuriate on the lawn.
The air whispers."
And in 'The Reformation of Silence' the "grasshoppers percussion" is contrasted starkly with the "Air-conditioning hums"

I really liked 'Mistaken Identity', a tiny poem in which a parent and child are birdwatching, and the parent claims to see a honey buzzard; the line, "Even at twelve I knew enough to disbelieve", speaks volumes about a shared passion and knowledge, and the relationship between them.
I liked them mostly because they are essentially reflective poems; they are not weird internal monologues but more 'I saw this and it made me think this'. A quiet little collection that will sneak up on you and catch you unawares.

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