Tomorrow's Feast (Paperback)Gerda Stevenson (author)
I’m relieved to find such things are there,
in spite of hunger and carnage
under the same moon, and my place
in their terrible chain;
glad that my mother’s hands,
after long years of sustaining us all,
will place on her table, once again,
her annual offerings at tomorrow’s feast.
From Late Night Christmas Shopping
Tomorrow’s Feast is Stevenson’s third poetry collection and reflects the challenges of today’s world. At the forefront of the poet’s consciousness here is the legacy faced by the next generation. In many ways, as the title implies, the book is a tribute to youth. Its scope is wide and deep, profoundly personal as well as political, employing a range of poetic forms, including a virtuosic libretto in verse, a contemporary retelling of Coleridge’s epic poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner set during the refugee crisis.
Publisher: Luath Press Ltd
Number of pages: 112
A collection by Gerda Stevenson is always a literary event of significance. Her poems are vigilant, prudent, and lucid, full of lyricism and wit. Her Mariner, included here, is a brilliant libretto. There is both intimacy and intricacy in equal measure, with her vast sweep of vision. She is a visionary who sings the world alive. Between grace and grit, Scots and Gaelic echoes, there is breathless brio as we bear witness to her stirring souls with awe and awakening. She is indeed a ‘remembrancer’ (unlike the Westminster sort), of the highest order – of poets worldwide. – MENNA ELFYNA beautiful collection – moving, thoughtful, challenging (and occasionally funny!), altogether so powerful – DR MICHEL BRYNE, University of Glasgow. Tomorrow’s Feast is a collection of striking compassion. Stevenson’s previous collection, Quines, had a particular agenda in celebrating the women of Scotland; this collection by contrast shows what moves her to poetry in her own times. While recognising our place in the ‘terrible chain’ of atrocities enacted on humanity and nature, Tomorrow’s Feast, as the title implies, is entirely life-affirming, finding grace in the most extreme situations. Stevenson uses a range of different voices, always pitch-perfect. A tight weaving of scenes lets images take on symbolic weight. There is also a delight in words, and a streak of black humour. The libretto Mariner, based on Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, held me spellbound in the way it echoes that great poem in narrative, rhythm and vocabulary while giving it a new reading as a plea for justice, for humanity and nature in the face of our current refugee and ecological crisis. It is a tour de force. – MEG BATEMAN.I was mesmerized by the depth and breadth of Tomorrow’s Feast. Reading this poignant commentary on life in today’s world, Stevenson’s third collection, I was yet again enthralled by how she links seamlessly our past with our present, employing different poetic formats such as Haiku to sprechgesang in various languages from English, Scots and Gaelic in striking poetry. Although her poems face head on many challenges of life in today’s world – from Covid 19 to climate change or the war in Syria – the collection leaves the reader with an infinitely hopeful note. The poems subtly do something else as well – they educate the reader in art and literary history, brilliantly executed in the verse libretto retelling Samuel Coleridge’s epic poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. – DR SYLVIA WARNECKE, The Open University.This volume of poetry is fabulous. It is rich with language, compassion, love and joy, sadness and grief. It is all life. Written by writer actress and director Gerda Stevenson who's voice can be heard as you read it. Thoroughly recommended! – SCOTTIE ANDERSONGerda Stevenson's TOMORROW'S FEAST is a work of extraordinary range, character and calibre - a remarkable book. ALAN RIACH
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