A poem can remove the thorn from any lion's paw - but by the same token a poet may have to ask the lion to tend her wound. Penelope Shuttle's new collection, "Sandgrain and Hourglass", charts a variety of transactions between poet-self and wound, between wound and beast. A major preoccupation is her continuing experience of loss, particularly the way time modulates and redefines grief. Some aspects of human experience can be too painful or difficult to bear except through poetry. As Ted Hughes said, "poetry is a way of speaking to people we've lost when it is too late". In these poems - as in her previous book "Redgrove's Wife" - Shuttle continues such conversations with her husband Peter Redgrove, her father Jack Shuttle, and her close friend L.H.S., among others. Her engagement with the world's manifold possibilities is also strongly present in Sandgrain and Hourglass - A machine for grading kisses? Edward Thomas translated into Japanese? A stolen reindeer? Faust? Francis Bacon's mirror? Bedtime? The possibilities are endless.
Publisher: Bloodaxe Books Ltd