PETER REDGROVE: SHEEN
4b Tremayne Close
UK ISBN 1 900152 87 8
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This page last updated: 11th December 2007.
|PETER REDGROVE: SHEEN|
Peter Redgrove died in 2003 and this is the last book of his to be published. Here is the end of his poem REVENANTS:
I saw my mother who has been dead ten years, Strolling on the other side of the street, the shady side, Arm in arm with a good-looking man not my father, and she was full of joy Looking up at this man; then she crossed the road to me and I Was that man.With just four exceptions, all the poems in this book are in this style, composed in three-part lines that spread across the page. Reading such work takes a bit of getting of used to. What the technique does is to make the reader concentrate on each section — every word becomes important.
Of the four poems whose lines follow conventionally down the page, FROM THE GOOD PEOPLE is still composed of three-line stanzas. THE FONT is a powerful poem about water and life:
She was from her belly and had made A divine shape in it, as The horse stamps rainbows Out of the wet earth. A font installed this morning in the church: All the water in the world, ...whilst RANK is a mixture of three- and two-line stanzas.
In many of these poems, images build to create an atmosphere as in DOOR AMONG THE DUNES (St. Enodoc.)
Over and over, the same face in variable whispers, the face that watches the sandbound Church from all side; the dunes nudging the church flowing over the church Concealing and revealing it, reproducing the countenance of the wind;One of my favourites from this collection is LIZARD MOONSCAPE:
Lizard lighthouse and lighthouse buildings, cottages of the moon, towers of the moon, ... the tower piled inside With brass instruments, up to the cyclopean eye like a whole brass band ... My friend in charge of light climbs his spiral stairs in his dressing gown hums a safety melody on his way To bed, the safest bed in all the kingdom.SHEEN isn't one of those books you can read through quickly. Each poem needs to be savoured. Three or four in a session and you'll be sated — enriched by the seering, seeping language. You can then close the book, but you'll know you will coming back to it for more.
|reviewer: Mandy Smith.|