Caroline Mellor‘s The Honey in the Bones is fantastic, exquisite. Her poems hum and sing and whisper in your ear and heart. Mellor partitions her poems in this collection into seasons of the year as well as earthly directions and elements. Rightly so.
Her poetic sense makes much of the earth’s seasons and weather and draws the reader along “soft and slow/as each breath/follows the last,” through the earth’s daily and seasonal tides and cycles. She invites the reader into a comfortable space where you can “tend the ember glow/of your soul’s hearth.” The poem, “Changing Sky, December 31, 2020,” recalls to mind that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Crocuses, birdsong, weather, light, birth—these are all related in Mellor’s vision.
Mellor makes various allusions to gardening regarding many things, including life. “Let my life/be an overgrown/garden:/gloriously messy/and lightly tended/with love.” Yes, mine, too.
In “Imbolc,” Mellor speaks about building bridges: “Give me the silent crescent moon rising over the sea and I will build/you a bridge of light so you can walk across and lie down in it.” To me, Mellor’s poetry is a bridge to a life of serenity and beauty.
The Honey in the Bones is Mellor’s first poetry collection. Living in the United Kingdom, besides being a poet, Mellor is a writer of essays and creative nonfiction. I can hardly wait for her second poetry collection. This first magnificent collection left me a fan.
I received Dress Whites by Richard Gilmore Loftus in the mail from the bookstore last Thursday morning. I finished it on Friday (Oct. 22, 2021). Read it in two days. Usually, I take my time reading poetry collections. But I couldn’t put this one down. Have several new favorite poems from this collection.
From “Jazz” to “Sparrow” to “Come Hither” to “Among the Sonnets,” Loftus’s imagery will surprise and captivate you as it did me. Crisp and elegant, his phrases and poems satisfy and enchant. Loftus effectively emphasizes the connection between nature and personal growth and outlook. Water functions as an ongoing symbol throughout the collection. From the mystery of a “dark river / gurgling through the night” in the “History of Religion” to “the wet in the wind touches her cheek” as a wife waits for her fisherman husband to come home in “Shetland Islands.”
I’ve already read some of the poems more than once or twice. Everything captivates, from the cover art to the last poem, “An Old Orange Boat.” For a debut poetry collection, this is a moving, emotional, superlative offering.
Richard Gilmore Loftus’s poetry is new to me. But, based on this collection, I’ll pick up his other books of poetry. And look forward to being entertained and enlightened by them as well as this assortment of poems did.
For a review of another poetry collection that I’ve enjoyed, check here.
The poems in Love Gone Savage by Shana Marlayna Chow grip you in a vice. From the instant you begin reading they pull you into a world of love, trust, distrust and brokenness on the one hand and optimism and perseverance on the other. These poems are not about cooing and infatuation, but about love somehow gone awry.