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Categories: 21st Century, American, British, First Collections, Women
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback (80 pages)
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Blue fjordsfrom ‘Dommaring’
recede; salmon swim among stalks
of rye. Bronze bells, or their echoes, break on rocks
once lapped by the sea. Did you see them, the quartzcarved
rocks glistening with summer springs?
The old violence, the old songs:
from prows and cliffs, men sound their lurhorns.
Julith Jedamus writes with an intensity that is at once passionate and precise. The poems in The Swerve create unforgettable landscapes: the whorls and spires of juniper in falling snow, Dutch skies of iridescent grey and lilac, the fire-scorched mountains of the American West. They are peopled by dancers and prisoners, sacrificial children and murderous wives; they reshape the imagination. We see the Netherlands in Van Gogh’s colours as he walks and works, breathing the twilight, and the Thames in Whistler’s; Lorca and Euripides are living presences. The timeless dramas of sacrifice and mourning, rescue and betrayal are re-enacted, meanings dissolved and remade. Long-vanished children walk home through the dark, ‘ghosting a path of sparks’.
Like the scull she rows on the Thames, Julith Jedamus’s poems skim ‘the fine line / between flying and drowning’, ‘unstable as air’, dangerous, alive.
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