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Ruth Padel, “The Emerald Tablet”

You can link to Ruth Padel’s “The Emerald Tablet”  by clicking here.  The whole poem seems to me remarkably rich and beautiful but for the moment I just want to say a few things about the technical skill of the writing in the opening stanzas (down to “divine”).

One of the things this involves is a peculiar interplay between firmness and tentativeness in rhyme, rhythm and syntax.

Syntax first. These first two sentences are quite long and complex in structure. The only punctuation, apart from full stops and capital letters, is the white space at the end of lines and dividing … Continue Reading

Review – Frances Sackett, Cradle of Bones

Cradle of Bones, The High Window Press, thehighwindowpress.com , 98 pp., £10

I’m delighted that my friend Frances Sackett, with whom I discussed poetry over a number of years, has had this collection published by The High Window Press. Her first, The Hand Glass, came out with Seren in 1996.

Some people like collections to be organized around a single clearly determined theme. That’s fine in a pamphlet but to my mind it easily becomes claustrophobic in longer volumes. I enjoy the freedom and variety you find in a body of work that’s accumulated slowly, reflecting the diversity of a poet’s interests … Continue Reading