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Website of poet Elizabeth Rimmer


Bachelard


  • Reading Winter into Spring

    It’s fair to say that life has been more than usually erratic lately. We have had a lot of disruption, what with issues in the house (and in our daughter’s new flat), health problems for just about everyone, tech problems and the distractions – lovely though they were – of Celtic Connections and StAnza. Nevertheless, writing has begun to happen, with the new ppoetry collection transforming itself while I wasn’t looking into something I’m not sure I recognise yet.

    As a result of this, reading has been much more random and diverse than usual, but I still have some really good books to recommend and to think about

    • Derek Jarman’s Modern Nature. I don’t agree with all he says, but he has the knack of making you think, see things differently, and reflect on questions of art and nature.
    • Gaston Bachelard’s The Psychoanalysis of Fire. To be honest it was pretty weird and unreadable, but his central tenet, that the myths we create about things like fire are as influential and important as the facts we can establish, is one I like. A lot of The Well of the Moon is about this very thing, and it will probably have an impact on the next collection too.
    • Rebecca Hurst’s debut poetry collection The Iron Bridge. I’d put this with the work of Séan Hewitt, Helen Boden and Eleanor Rees for its concern with place, walking, myth and memory, a very careful reflective book.
    • I’m currently comparing two books dealing with lockdown – Gillian Clarke’s The Silence and Tom Kelly’s Walking My Streets. Both collections are heavy with grief and the loneliness of the deepest lockdown, but where Gillian Clarke looks out onto the countryside where she lives, watching the birds and the rain, the quiet and the undifferentiated days when the dead are reduced to daily numbers, Tom Kelly looks backwards into memory at his early life, his community and the lost members of his family. My lockdown was more characterised by fear and the desperate need to maintain communications with people who were in trouble, rather than grief, but these two collections have brought back some of the deadly quiet of those weeks. It’s important not to forget.

    People who sign up to my newsletters will, I hope, get more reviews, and I am planning to write some for The Glasgow Review of Books, so please look out for them.



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