Saturday 9 November 2019

Two New Christmas Titles From Candlestick Press..

❆❆ Ten Poems about Snow ❆❆

Candlestick Press
November 2019

Cover:Sam Cannon

My thanks to the publishers for my copy of these beautiful pamphlets 

The appeal of snow must have something to do with childhood – the excitement of waking up to a white world and placing our wellies into cold crunchiness. As adults we still feel the magic of snow’s hushed calm, which for a few days can slow down our hectic lives.

Ten Poems about Snow edited by Carole Bromley takes us on an enchanted journey through worlds of snow until we arrive, of course, in Robert Frost’s mysterious snowy woods. You’ll also find beautiful poems published here for the first time – winners and runners-up in our snow poem competition. These are poems that capture all the magic and emotion of a snowfall in deepest winter.

For every Snow pamphlet sold, Candlestick will be making a donation to the charity Shelter.

My thoughts..

I can remember as a child spending lots of happy hours outside and have so many memories of playing with feather-light powder puff snow and of walking along crackly footpaths with their cobweb lines of ice and frost. The excitement of waking to the hushed quiet of a snowy morning and the tingly pain of icy fingers from making snowmen, and the sheer joy of throwing crunchy snowballs and watching them explode into a million pieces.

In this poignantly reflective collection of ten poems we are reminded of the sheer beauty of snow and of our relationship with it. 

From the disappointment of a child being picked to play a snowflake in the nativity rather than the Virgin Mary, The Star of Bethlehem by Jill Munro is a lovely reminder of being the best we can be regardless of our role, and sometimes it is simply enough to be one of the 'fake flakes' forming 'a snow blanket on the scene'.

The Symmetry of Snow by Meda AA Stamper is a wonderful reminder of the absolute grace of snow and of the power of its transformation to make everything seem better but that we must never to forget what's underneath the snowy facade.

'But grace shows its heart like snow and changes everything
Everything even what we've made all wrong and ugly
Everything is all the same in beauty after snow..' 

It's always difficult to pick out a favourite poem as all ten are very special and conjure the beauty of a snowy landscape but I think the one that struck a chord with me was the simple beauty of  When it Snowed by Kerry Derbyshire which brought a tear to  my eye..

 ' like prayers, how snow stitches
and mends all that is broken...'

And of course no festive collection is complete without the stunning beauty of Robert Frost's Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Night 

'He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow...'

It's one of my favourites and is  a delightful way to complete the collection.

 ❆❆ Christmas Spirit ❆❆

Candlestick Press
November 2019

Cover: Louise Slater

These ten specially commissioned poems celebrate the joy of Christmas in all its variety. Some evoke the bustle of untangling fairy lights, of shopping and cooking and opening presents, while others celebrate our more ancient seasonal traditions, such as collecting holly and ivy to bring into the house. And then, of course, there’s the mistletoe.

The poems remind us that amid the inevitable hurly burly there’s always time to pause and savour quiet moments. This joyful and heart-warming selection is guaranteed to add a sprinkle of beauty and delight to every Christmas.

My thoughts..

Christmas Spirit to Warm the Heart describes this collection of poetry to perfection as there is such festive warmth within each of the poems giving us a glimpse into a very special Christmas world.

Quietly introspective, each of the poems have the ability to take you into a world of festive treats seeing Christmas 'through other people's windows' which is a poignant reminder of what the spirit of Christmas means to every one of us.

I loved the opening poem 'The Golden Bough by Rosie Jackson with its theme of mistletoe and which is a complete story in itself, perfectly proportioned, and suffused with mysticism and legend ' until her tears formed into pearls, lucent emblems of her unstoppable love'..

Christmas traditions are explored in This year like last year by Jo Brandon which reminded me of  the joy of keeping family traditions alive in the memory,

 ' I like that Christmas is always the same, someone 
on the telly said,'the best days are alwyas short'-
it could have been the vicar of Dibley,
or the Queen '...

I loved the vernacular of Mizzletow by Katrina Porteous which conjured a bleak and beautiful landscape, and that thin cold mizzly rain which is so much part of my northern climate,

'And a burning cold dragged in from the dark- the Mizzletow-
Strange , aromatic, A tang of field edges-. Mizzle, a thin rain-
Not the pearly southern berries but hoops of bitter willow..'

These two pamphlets are both wonderful collections of Christmas poetry which are just perfect for the festive season and are a great alternative to the standard Christmas card.

Candlestick Press is a small, independent press publishing sumptuously produced poetry pamphlets that serve as a wonderful alternative to a greetings card, with matching envelopes and bookmarks left blank for your message. Their subjects include Cricket, London, Puddings, Birds, Kindness, Home and Fathers. Candlestick Press pamphlets are stocked by chain and independent bookshops, galleries and garden centres nationwide and available to order online.

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