Monday, 8 February 2016

Voodoo Shop by Ruth Padel

I recently re-read Voodoo Shop by Ruth Padel and thought I'd re-post my original review which I posted here almost 9 years ago! My favourite poem in the collection back then, remains my favourite poem today!


I had heard Ruth Padel read at the Edinburgh Book festival and at the Scottish Poetry Library. I always enjoy her readings and really looked forward to at last reading one of her collections cover to cover. She has a keen environmental awareness, yet her poetry never feels like a lecture, in fact is often very sensual. She obviously loves words and knows how to use them to best effect. She is a passionate and engaging performer of her own work, more so than most literary poets - naturally some of this is lost when her poems are read from a book. In fact some of her poems (for example Writing to Onegin) can seem too wordy on the page, whereas her performance makes them into vivid drama. My favourite poem in this collection is CASABLANCA AND THE CHILDREN OF STORM, a long poem about loneliness and the storm petrel, a small seabird. The last part of this poem is haunting:

But somewhere in another galaxy,
Some parallel universe,

We’ll still be what we were.
St Peter’s birds,

Doing the impossible, walking on sea,
The outriders of storm.

Off course maybe; blown,
Fragile, but together. Drawn

To their one and only mate
By magnetism, a cry

You recognise in the dark above all others
And by faith.

It’s a poetry collection I’d recommend, but more, I’d recommend going along to hear Ruth Padel read if you ever get the chance.

Voodoo Shop by Ruth Padel published by Chatto

As ever, red text contains hyperlinks where you can find out more


Anonymous said...

sounds lovely; thanks for sharing her

martine said...

I agree that hearing poets read live is such a brilliant experience compared to reading to yourself. Hoping to maybe make it for the book festival this summer, we came for the fringe last year but were up the wrong week for the book festival.

Lowcarb team member said...

Yes, if you can hear poets read live it is so rewarding.

Hope this new week has started well for you.

All the best Jan

Geraldine said...

sounds like an interesting book, LOVE the title. :-)