Review: Winter Words 3

Thea Hawlin 27 December 2012

Walking into the English Faculty one is always greeted by words. Words are everywhere; however, one breed of words that never fails to make an appearance is that of poetry. Poetry – particularly modern poetry—is one of those arts I have yet to come to terms with. I find it curiously like Modern Art, often unable to see the line between craft and idleness.

For this reason I am always fascinated by the new poetry that comes out from Cambridge. The fresh chapbooks and collections that wait in little stacks on the library counter fill me with a childlike glee, and this collection doesn’t disappoint. From old favourites like Rowan Evans to shiny Fresher-faced poets this collection is brimming with talent. Henry St. Leger-Davey’s ‘Paled’ is fraught with indulgent words, the type of lines you want to savour on your tongue. India Matharu-Daley’s ‘Citrus saga’ refreshingly original, the image of ‘only peel and piquant pips remained’ as the remnants of battle curiously haunting. Yet I find ‘Aubade’ is by far the most striking poem in the collection, the ‘burning hands’ that ‘brand’ Georgia Wagstaff seem to become her own, branding her poetry onto the page, and into our minds. Contrasting to the emotive movement of Charlee Buzzard’s ‘Splitting’ which bounces with rhythm, creating some beautifully crafted images: ‘the fissures of hands we call fingers’. Justina Kehinde Ogunseitan’s touching piece ‘Yearning’ almost becomes overshadowed by the identity of the poet herself: signing off with her blog, she exposes her admirable project to write every day. Alone this exemplifies the kind of drive and dedication to writing that makes these collections so exciting, and well worth a read.

Thea Hawlin