Tuesday 29 January 2013

The Holy Place - poetry by Caroline Gill and John Dotson

I recently bought a copy of The Holy Place, poetry by John Dotson and Caroline Gill.

The two poets have very different but complementary styles. John's poetry is mostly minimalist. I particularly like:

let's take cicadas then

in madly chanting crescendoes 
along the honey suckle-lined 

mud pathed riverbank.


The second half of the book is devoted to Caroline's poetry. Caroline may be a bit of a rarity these days in that she writes formal poetry and writes it well.  Her sestina The Figure at the Phoenix Mine included in this book won the Petra Kenney Poetry Competition in 2007.

She's also (as anyone who reads her Wild and Wonderful blog will know) a keen naturalist. Many of the poems here are informed by this love of nature. Ice Maiden of Zennor features a snowy owl that very unusually was spotted in Cornwall. The poem in its rhythms and cadences is a little reminiscent of Poe's The Raven:

Silent flakes are floating gently
high above the ocean spray;
owlish eyes look innocently
on the sailor's winter way.

There's also a hint of Poe again in Monte Testaccio: Mound of Potsherds though it features cats rather than a bird:

Can you hear the paws 
that prowl proprietorially
and saunter round the cemetery
beside the Pauline Gate?

This poem took me right back to a mountain village in Italy several years ago where Crafty Green Boyfriend and I discovered a group of cute (and quite smelly) feral cats that were prowling most proprietorially!

This book is very good value too at only £3.50 including postage and packing within the UK.


The Weaver of Grass said...

Great minds think alike Juliet - i have written a book recommendation today too.
Thanks for the hotel information.

Bill said...

Thanks for introducing us to these poets.

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

Feral cats in a mountain village in Italy? That is surprising..Was it in the Alps, or Dolomites?

Crafty Green Poet said...

Tomnasso - actually probably hill towns rather than mountain village - Dolceaqua and Ventimiglia

RG said...

Wow - very different styles of writing.

Here the Jetty Cats at Gold Beach, Oregon are very famous!