I’m just re-reading Jen Hadfield’s Nigh-No-Place because I’m going to see her read on Thursday at SCoP, Stirling University on Thursday. I’m finding them very interesting, they start arguments in my head, conversations about geography and poems about wind and rock-pools.
For all the collection is called Nigh-No-Place, the poems seem very much rooted in the places she is in, Alberta or Shetland, growing from deep awareness of the specifics of weather and landscape – snow, wind and hail, ‘hacked wet chunk of mountain,”fences strung with trembling streamers’.
They are embodied sensual poems, full of light, sound and movement, popping gravel and ice in a glass like the notes of a mandolin, like the sound of a train passing, swirling hail, the way the salmon’s sinuous fighting upstream echoes the movement of the river’s meanders, the blinks of sunlight you register a lot when warmth is fitful and fickle.
I especially liked Daed-traa :
‘I go to the rock-pool at the slack of the tide
to mind me what my poetry’s for’
which is fabulous.
It reminds me a lot of my Digging for Bait, – one of the Eurydice Rising poems, which makes me think again about the myths I was hatching about the differences between male and female attitudes towards the writing of poems. I might post it here later, but not today. Today I want to make you think about Jen Hadfield’s poems. Go read some.