Reviewed Poetry Book

Hidden River

by Stephanie Norgate

This is Stephanie Norgate's first full-length collection of poetry. These poems celebrate our interaction with each other and with Nature. The rituals of birth, love, death and daily life are examined through a new sensuous lens and are transformed into new creations. This is illustrated in an extract from Mud Bath.

Our eyes peer through holes in mud-masks,
as we lean in the sun, statues drying,
the thick wet glaze turning to plaster.
Then we come alive, and, cracking as we move,
slide into sulphurous water,
let our feet drift, see our moulds
loosen, lift, dissolve,
grey clouds swirling in the hot spring.

Her poems display a passionate concern for relationships and the survival of the human spirit. She is concerned about a possible imbalance in our encounter with Nature. This is reflected in an extract from Lamping.

It's as if a drunk's careering
down the slope,
blasting rifles,
aiming searchlights
along dark thin combs of grass.

I've seen rabbits
walleyed strange, a blueness round their lids,
and feared their weakness,
the gummy trickles on their fur.

So this is better:
the lamps blaze and turn, like wrecker's lights.

I want to scream a warning -
the splintering of small bones, lead in the lungs.

She writes about human nature and emotional bonding and our need to respect the creatures that we live with.

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