Tuesday 16 January 2024

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

Candlestick Press
January 2024

Thanks to the publisher for my copy of this pamphlet

Coco Chanel declared a hat to be essential when lunching with people one didn’t know very well. These days such pretensions may seem old hat but we still set store by this quintessentially personal item of clothing.

In these pages we encounter hats of all shapes and sizes. There’s a grandfather’s beloved trilby and an imagined bathing cap belonging to Napoleon. There’s also a “hopeful hat” waiting for coins on a city pavement.

Best of all, perhaps, we experience the old-fashioned glamour of a milliner’s shop:

“There are multi-coloured reels, ends of rickrack, bias bindings,
tiny satin flowers, and hats with floppy brims
on blank-faced, long-necked Nefertiti heads,”

from ‘Cloche’ by John Foggin

These varied poems will delight and entertain in equal measure.

Poems by Rita Dove, John Foggin, John Freeman, Clarinda Harriss, Robert Hedin, Linda Pastan, Carole Satyamurti, James Tate, Andrew Taylor and ASJ Tessimond.

Cover illustration by Jane Burn.

πŸ“– My Review..

I've always liked hats on other people. I simply don't have the head for a hat but I enjoy seeing fancy creations and on the rare occasions I have worn a hat, there's something about wearing one which feels quite special. This lovely collection of ten poems about hats is perfect for me as I can enjoy the beauty of hats without the pressure of wearing one.

'Cloche' by John Foggin starts the collection with a wander down memory lane for me as I have  a lovely photograph of one of my aunts wearing a beautiful cloche hat in the 1930s. She was an extraordinary dressmaker and could well have made the hat she was wearing so beautifully...

" I think she's wearing black,
a cameo brooch and  a touch of rouge."

There's something about a hat which just makes you want to try it on and I can remember when clearing an elderly relatives house we came across a rather pristine black bowler hat, of course, on our heads it went and we remembered, with a smile, the man who once wore it.

'The Man in the Bowler Hat' by ASJ Tessimond

"I am the unnoticed,the unnoticeable man:
The man who sat on your right in the morning train:
The man you looked through like a window pane:
The man who was the colour of the carriage, the colour of the mounting
Morning pipe smoke..."

Wonderfully evocative and beautifully designed, with a colourful cover and pretty inside papers Ten Poems about Hats is a charming collection to make you smile and is simply perfect instead of card to brighten up a cold winters day.

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

Twitter/X @poetrycandle

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