Friday 3 July 2020

Review ~ Ten Poems for Summer from Candlestick Press

Candlestick Press

My thanks to the publishers for my copies of this poetry pamphlet

There seem to be fewer poems about summer than about other seasons. Perhaps the impulse to be outdoors when the weather is at its best goes against the inward mood that writing poems requires. This makes poetry about summer all the more glorious – each poem in this mini-anthology is like a rare, bright jewel that shines with the season’s own brief intensity:

“Summer was wealthy with a daze of suntraps,
Daffodil-spitting, sumptuous. Everywhere
Ours for the taking.”

from ‘Woodniche’ by Aidan Carl Mathews

The selection takes us into gardens, fields, forests and up onto city rooftops – sharing an exuberant delight in those precious few months when the natural world seems to wear its heart on its sleeve.

Poems by Fiona Benson, Louise Glรผck, Choman Hardi, Jane Kenyon, DH Lawrence, Norman MacCaig, Aidan Carl Mathews, Isaac Rosenberg, Naomi Shihab Nye and Edward Thomas.

Cover illustration by Alexandra Buckle.

What did I think about it..

I didn't realise there were fewer poems about Summer than any other season, in fact, I imagined quite the reverse and that poets would be inspired by long, lazy summer days. I'm really pleased to say that this pamphlet of Ten poems for Summer conjures the season very well,

The collection gets off to an excellent start with the beautiful poem, Adelstrop which was written by Edward Thomas when the country was on the cusp of WW1 and everything was about to change forever.

It's always good to see my favourite D H Lawrence with a poem I was unfamiliar with, Andraitx - Pomegranite Flowers is definitely Lawrence at his tempting best.

I enjoy reading the work of poets who are new to me and I found much to enjoy in Summer Roof by Choman Hardi, Poem for James by Fiona Benson, Heavy Summer Rain by Jane Kenyon, A Summer Garden by Louise Glรผck , Last August Hours before the Year 2000 by Naomi Shihab Nye, August 1914 by Isaac Rosenberg.

Woodniche by Aidan Carl Mathews is beautifully reminiscent of long days of summer spent in my local woodlands as a child...

'The dragon flies were here before us, friend
Cupboard of branch and bramble, woodniche
where the sun tumbles, foxgloves are glorious,
children tore their knees among the thorns..'

As always its difficult to choose but I have a favourite ๐Ÿ˜Š

There's an expression in July Evening by Norman MacCaig (1910-1996) which reminded me of the birds in my garden as they go about their evening business...

'A Bird's voice chinks and tinkles
alone in the gaunt reedbed -
Tiny Silversmiths
working late in the evening...'

This beautiful collection of ten poems help to create an impression of Summer in all its glorious splendour, some are poignant, whilst others are thoughtfully introspective, but throughout, Ten Poems for Summer, is a picture perfect collection of poetry for long, lazy summer days.

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 Clouds, Walking, Birds, Home and Kindness. Candlestick Press pamphlets are stocked by chain and independent bookshops, galleries and garden centres nationwide and available to order online.

Connect: /  Twitter @PoetryCandle

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