Thursday, 31 July 2014

June Review & July Choice

Okay so I know this post is really late, and I also have another confession to make I haven't finished my June read!  I will, and I promise to review it when I have finished.

It's not all bad news as I did finish a book of poetry.  I don't read much poetry and only have the usual poetry books on my shelves, Tennyson, Keats, Kipling and those don't even include my two favourite poets/poems W H Auden - Stop all the clocks and William Henry Davies - Leisure.  I remember very little poetry from school, and although I have dipped in and out of poetry books since, I never sit to read a whole book of poetry.  However after taking part in a reading workshop at the local library I was motivated to read the recommended 'summer reading challenge' book of poetry.

Bevel - William Letford Published October 1st 2012 by Carcanet Press Ltd.
I must be honest at this point and say my interest was peaked by the fact William Letford is Scottish! Obviously being a Scotophile, I needed very little convincing that I had to read it. A few of the poems are written with a Scottish accent and Scottish-isms and for me at least it made it all the more enjoyable!

I read it in one sitting, bookmarking poems that caught my attention and then when back to read it a second time and read my favourites over and over.

Most of the poems are quite brief and a lot of them centre around every day activities, and promote a sense of realisation and action.  One of my favourites was 'Waking for work in the winter', I'm sure many of us can relate to this particular routine.  Not only does the poem promote the cold and dark of this time of year but also the quiet and the tiredness, and why it's preferable to stay cosy in bed.  It is only 8 lines and the first 4 start with the word 'Even'.  I think that real is the feeling of getting up for work when it's cold and dark, even though it is these things and you really want to snuggle down between the sheets, you still have to 'get up', and these are the words with which the poem ends.  'Winter in the world' is another brief poem that manages to generate a clear picture and feeling of the image of winter, and the worry of the old lady on the snowy paths.

'Be prepared' is a lengthy poem and runs at a faster past and like a list, it reminds me of the things your grandmother or mother would tell you.  It also seems to me that Mr Letford is drawing attention and significance to the insignificant.  My favourite lines are ...'pay attention to the moment, the way the water drips...'.  To me it's very clever to highlight mindfulness in just two lines. 

The most evocative poem for me was 'Elderly ladies and afternoon tea', it created such a clear and distinct image in my head of two elderly ladies sitting in a café that they have visited for many years and noticing the new and old, and themselves.

I really enjoyed the fun of 'Moths'.  Not only is the poem cleverly laid out but it expresses the irritation that most people feel about these annoying little insects!

'Our Life' is a powerful poem talking of a love for life, 7 lines of passion, it starts 'Love it, she says, like you can't have it and never will,..'

By far my favourite is 'For the spirit' .  Mr Letford worked as a roofer and a few of his poems share his experiences of this job, and this one in particular explains the reasons why Winter on the roofs may be hard but the summer may be harder!

I listened to Mr Letford read some of his poetry on the publishers website, and I have to say read aloud and with a real Scottish accent it was even better.

9 KDS points.

My choice for July;
The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains by Neil Gaiman, Illustrated by Eddie Campbell

1 comment:

dianne said...

Love the way you have written about the poems you made them sound very interesting and wanting to here the whole of the poem well done x#