An independent small press poetry review

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Wild Women Press
10 The Common
LA23 1JH
ISBN 0 9536989 6 3

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The author splits the poems into sections WATER, FIRE, EARTH and AIR, the ancient philosophic system a convenient and acceptable classification approached obliquely, which affords variety, although a small proportion of work does not slot in.

I found many poems smooth, pellucid and mystic for the most part. Momentary suspension of breath by the reader after suitable end lines helps to reinforce effect as a still point is created, within which period full assimilation can can occur. Try it.

In some other poems, it is evident that Ruth Snowden has a propensity for providing versions of how 'the other half' lives in poetic rather than factual terms. There are two poems on slugs. One is called JANE (or, unlikely, is this a cartoon-like distortion of a human?). In the first verse

	Jane is a slug now.
	She has no hands
	and her huge breasts
	are streamlined into grey flesh.
The other slug poem WE SLUGS which copies some imagery 'glistening trail', 'delicate horns' is definite slugtown proper and not anthropoid in origin, is over-reached in places, and we need to query
	Observe our delicate horns,

	our gentle souls
	which bear no malice.
Also statements which sit uneasily (in my opinion) as from slug to man:
	It is your right
	to kill us without thought:
	pour salt on writhing bodies;
	snip us in half; poison us;

	or grind us back, with
	Wellington boots . . .
although admittedly one can just read for pleasure without any criticism that words are being put in a slug's mouth. Unlike ZEN MASTER where the cat Luca is well observed but takes no part in pseudo-thought processes:
	He is cat and that is enough.           
	Perfection of scimitar claws
	stretching the length of the morning.
THE WOMAN WHO CAME FROM THE SKY seems to include the best of Snowden; the strange woman who came to be a wife to a man, carrying a pot which he must never open:
	And so she swept his hut,
	and wove cloth with spirals in the weft.
	She sang to the black pot crouched in shadow,
	while she stirred his supper on the fire.
of course he opens it:
	It was empty as a skull's eye;
	black as a night thunder cloud 
	of polished ebony
and throws the empty pot at her, destroying the bond as
	she took her pot and was gone,
	away into the gaping night.
She is good at faerie and fey-like expansion of either her own originality or manifest myth and legend. Unfortunately the time is not right, but there may be a few outlets for her imaginative and interesting work.

reviewer: Eric Ratcliffe.