4 out of 5 stars

A copy of this was provided free of charge from the publisher in return for an honest review.

I have only read one of Jean Sprackland’s books before, her wonderful Strands, about her year of discoveries on a beach in the north west of England. That was non-fiction, but I have never read her poetry until this one.

The first thing to note is that the cover is very striking. At first glance, it looks like an insect, but on careful examination, you can see tiny brass cogs and gears. From that beginning, I knew that this was not going to be a conventional poetry book. This collection resonates with what she calls ‘Green noise’, some of the poems are seeking our place in the natural world, others are glimpses of a time now gone.

Has found instead a television

Flat out in the mud, and rimmed with moss.

He stands and watches a while

As clouds and crows flicker over the screen

It is quite something this book. This is the first of her poetry collections that I have read and this reinforces my original thought that Sprackland has an impressive command of the language which I had learnt from Strands. It draws from the undercurrents that are deep in the landscape and reflects our modern life. It is prose that deserves to be read out loud too.

Three Favourite Poems:

Remembering

Elderflower

Human Things

The striking image on the front cover is from this artist: https://www.mecre.ch/gallery/.

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