Thursday, 29 October 2009

Waiting for Zebras by Nancy Somerville

I wrote the other day how much I had enjoyed hearing Nancy Somerville read at the Shore Poets event on Sunday. I bought a copy of her collection Waiting for Zebras that day and thoroughly enjoyed reading it this week. The poems cover a variety of topics, music and dancing; war and the opening of the Scottish Parliament in 1999. However for me the highlights are the poems that deal with nature. We have birds in the city, gulls and blackbirds and, my favourite birds, swifts, I'm glad to find I'm not the only poet whose:

are filled with their presence
the wheeling cries
diving through tenement canyons
the boomerang shapes
rising to invisibility.

(from The Last Swift)

There are also poems of the Scottish islands, including Corncrake on Iona which captures wonderfully and humourously the search for this most elusive of birds. Humour also in Sheep:

No free thinkers here.
We go with the flock,
never stick our scrag ends out,
always do what's expected of us.

Bunny bloggers will be happy to find here the poem Rabbits in Glen Cova:

We point and point
in all directions
counting and losing count
until the last white tail
bobs underground.

Waiting for Zebras by Nancy Somerville, published by Red Squirrel Press, £6.99.


Caroline Gill said...

This sounds a great read: I have bookmarked your page on my Delicious site!

Kat Mortensen said...

Definitely my sort of poet, Juliet. Thanks for the information. I had a look at the site and was drawn to the "Lemon Cake" page. The anagrams at the bottom were very clever. I have a real taste for lemon now.

Thomma Lyn said...

What delightful poetry! I enjoy poetry about nature and animals.

Ann (bunnygirl) said...

Thanks for the bunny poem, but it was the sheep poem that gave me the giggles. My grandfather had sheep, and me and my cousins could torment them just by standing at a corner of the paddock. One by one they'd gather around, until the entire flock would be huddled together, bleating at us for no good reason whatsoever!

RG said...

Connection to the rabbit piece! In the Islands here there are wide expanses full of wild rabbit burrows and when a group of people arrive and get out of a car they always point and count until all the cotton tails hop down the tunnels!

Martha@A Sense of Humor is Essential said...

I love the sheep poem, so cute.
Thanks for sharing this wonderful poet, I appreciate it. Thank you also for stopping by my blog.