|extracts from reviews.|
The poet is struck by characters as in such vignettes as, "last laugh,"
"Cup Bearer" and "Tom". Each alone is worth
the purchase of this book.
Pulsar (Lachlan Robertson).
In her writing Gillian Bence-Jones, like all interesting gossips,
makes no concessions to strangers, gives no explanations.
Here is here, she says, and there they were.
And it works. As in TOM, the collection's keystone poem,
which successfully marries memories of the matter-of-fact killings
on the Somme with those of a matter-of-fact life in rural Suffolk.....
Poetry for the palate this. Just take this one word-lovely line
from the beginning of DRISHANE, The house rang in
...intensely human and humane; this collection left me,
for one, with a warm feeling. And there's not much that
does that these days.
What I like about Ostrich Creek
is the ease with which Gillian Bence-Jones
stimulates the ordinary.
Waffle-free, the poems speak volumes in a
rich swell of implicitness
'Twilight', 'The First', 'Safe as Houses', 'Sea-Beast' all bask in suppleness.
I also enjoyed being taken on a trip abroad,
skimming the surface of a new exotic culture
... the poems shift sand,
are warmed and cooled by the tide of wonderful
Scarlet, amber. mauve azaleas blaze
Under the Maple;
Wide Oak. awake at last
Tosses a green shirt.
The Affectionate Punch (Andrew Tutty).
Gillian Bence-Jones writes simply of simple things:|
We drift through bring ugly bores
To being bones.
STRANGERS & PILGRIMS
More tellingly she writes of old country people
who connect back to the
First World War which remains a contrasting
Dapple-dance of sun and shade,
Time caught in a leaf net.
how pleasant to find a poet who can vary the current trend for short, free-stressed unrhymed
lines with an occasional jewel of prosody, like
the delightful pantoum
My Father, or
the mordantly witty Hymn Modern.
Manifold (Vera Rich).
What is it that makes these deceptively simple pieces 200 watts brighter than most writers in this
field? Why does she make me realise I know so many words? Why do the first lines bear so little
relevance to the rest of the poem but are so vital to its whole existence? Why can't I write as good
as this? Why can't you write as good as this? Why don't you just read it and stop asking
questions? A long, long overdue large collection from Gillian
that's good to have around.
Krax (Andy Robson).