Monday 5 June 2023

πŸ“– Book Review ~ Ten Poems about Mountains from Candlestick Press

May 2023
Candlestick Press

My thanks to the publisher for my copy of this poetry 

A mountain is something very particular – a place that entices and daunts us, that commands our gaze while also making it very clear that we’re not required.
These glorious poems capture the majesty and wonder of mountain landscapes, whether they’re encountered up-close by walkers and climbers or are being marvelled at from afar by more contemplative souls.

In one poem, even a failed ascent offers a moment of wonder:

“The late afternoon sun comes rushing and skimming

Toward you, through your eyes,

And through your trembling, stiffening fingers

In a dazzle of light, a burnt-gold avalanche.”

from ‘On a Mountainside’ by David Wagoner

Whichever way we look at mountains, they make us feel small and these poems revel in that marvellous and uplifting thought.

Poems by Li Bai, Gladys Cardiff, Emily Dickinson, Clifton Gachagua, Norman MacCaig, Helen Mort, Yvonne Reddick, Nan Shepherd, David Wagoner and David Wilson.

The poems are selected and introduced by poet and novelist Helen Mort who has climbed in the Alps wearing a Victorian crinoline.

Cover illustration by Laura Boswell

πŸ“– My Review...

There's nothing like a range of mountains to make you understand your place in the world and for those of us who don't have a spectacular mountain range on our doorstep Ten Poems about Mountains shares the splendour and majesty of these giant crags without us having to leave the comfort of our armchairs.

The collection begins with the solid composition 'Climbing Suilven' by Norman MacCaig

'I nod and nod to my own shadow and thrust
A mountain down and down...'

Those of us who don't know the magnetic lure of climbing the spectacular mountains which tower above our landscape will be as affected as I was by reading Glyderau by Helen Mort, a lovely poem about walking in the shadows of those who had gone before..

' the North Tower I heard your voice
echo with the stonefall of your own death...'

Majestic elements frozen in time, mountains and slabs of granite which tower above us marking our place in the world with their sheer spectacular beauty, all are expertly described in this lovely collection of Ten Poems about Mountains. A perfect gift, instead of a card, for the mountaineer in your life, or for someone like me, an armchair climber who loves the beauty of words.

About the Publisher

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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