Saturday 26 February 2022

๐Ÿ“–Poetry Review ~ Ten Poems about History from Candlestick Press


Candlestick Press
January 2022

My thanks to the publisher for my copy of this pamphlet

This wonderfully varied selection of poems demonstrates the vast scope of the word history. We’re transported on a dizzying journey from the beginnings of time all the way to a cinรฉ-film that brings the past right into the present.

The poems look through both ends of the telescope and take us from the epic to the everyday, via harpsichord players, pitchfork rebellions, shipyards and family china:

“glaze veined
with grains of dirt

archivists of our own lives”

from ‘China, Blue and White’ by Linda France.

The selection carries the fascinating idea that history is what we remember of our own lives as much as the events we read about in books, and that sometimes the two can overlap – as for the speaker in Patrick Kavanagh’s masterly poem, who reflects that he has “lived in important times”.

These are poems that look at history from every angle, finding richness and vividness in each corner of the past.

Poems by Rita Dove, Alistair Elliot, Linda France, Patrick Kavanagh, Hannah Lowe, Sean O’Brien, Caitrรญona O’Reilly, Louis Simpson and Tamar Yoseloff.

Cover illustration by Sam Cannon.

๐Ÿ“– My thoughts..

History is all around us, we feel it everyday in everything we do and see, and yet we also sense time passing, we say as we get older that time seems to pass far too quickly. In this collection of ten poems about history each of the poets have brought their own thoughts on a diverse range of global topics from a medieval interpretation of Adam's temptation in the Garden of Eden in Adam lay ybounden, an anonymous 15th Century poem :

"...Blessed be the time that apple was taken
Therfore we mown singen, Deo Gratias..."

To the emotive subject of slavery in Rita Dove's prose poem Kentucky, 1833

" if the sky were an omen we could not understand, the book that, if we could read, would change our lives..."

To the fading of consumerism in The Last Woolworths in America by Tamar Yoseloff

"...But the doors will close today.
there is nothing we can do.The traffic will stop
on Broad Street, the other shopkeepers will bow their heads,
the slow procession will move forward, and keep moving..."

With its stunning front cover, this diverse anthology is a fascinating snapshot of world history expressed so eloquently by ten poets who share their thoughts and experiences about a whole range of topics. It would make a perfect gift 'instead of a card' for anyone who enjoys thought provoking world history.

About Candlestick Press

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.

Twitter @poetrycandle

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