A Perfect Mirror

Sarah Corbett

£9.99
- +

ISBN: 9781786948618

Publication: March 14, 2018

Series: Pavilion Poetry

Walking, getting lost, and finding that home is half way between refuge and a place to look out from at the unsettling and unsettled world, are the dominant themes in Sarah Corbett’s fifth collection. Written from an intimate knowledge of the countryside of the Calder Valley, many of these poems respond to a landscape as beautiful as it is disquieting, troubled by a warming climate and by violence and loss both public and private. A central sequence – part found poem, part assemblage – draws on the Grasmere Journals of Dorothy Wordsworth, poems that question the nature of the visionary, the in-between worlds that this poet claims as her territory; here nature is held up as a mirror where we might see ourselves and our actions reflected. Over all haunts the presence-in-absence of Sylvia Plath, whose burial place the author can see from her bedroom window. Throughout, interior lights – a train on a dark morning, a sudden snowfall, moonlight and starlight, sun on lake water, the love between a parent and child – attempt to balance the darkness.

Born in 1970, Sarah grew up in North Wales and gained a PhD in Critical and Creative Writing from Manchester University in 2013. Her first collection of poetry 'The Red Wardrobe' (Seren, 1998) won the Eric Gregory Award and was shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize and the Forward Best First Collection Prize. She followed with 'The Witch Bag' (Seren, 2002), 'Other Beasts' (Seren, 2008) as well as 'And She Was' (Pavilion Poetry, 2015). She currently lives in the Calder Valley and is a Lecturer in Creative Writing for Lancaster University.

'Often, cautious students of poetry worry that their poems oughtn’t be about one ‘controversial’ thing or another. What Corbett has shown is that they should take the opposite approach: fill their poems with all the savages and saints which make up the human condition. Only then will the mirror of poetry be perfect.'
Jake Campbell, Poetry School
 

'A Perfect Mirror flickers more secrets about the Calder Valley into view than a mirror ever could. Marvelling at moss and the moon of ice, elsewhere plying the mystery of puddles, these miraculous poems nurse the glint of sun into gold. Even the sky begins to speak, graced by the ghosts of Wordsworth, Plath, Bronte and Austen, as scaling each hill entails a hike into the imagination, “where the mind goes gliding beyond the shores of its ocean... moving towards a horizon we will never touch”.'
Jade Cuttle, Poetry Book Society
 

'Mature, intense, necessary – in turbulent times, the poems of A Perfect Mirror haunt and hold the reader, showcasing the gifts of a poet as accomplished in evoking the natural world as she is in communicating a powerful psychic landscape. Deploying imagery at once idiosyncratic, apposite and utterly memorable, with an remarkable feel for the line, and terrific sonic effects, Corbett never fails to move and excite, prompting me to return again and again to wonder, with not a little envy: how does she do it? Here is a talent who illumines darkness with a fierce emotional and intellectual rigour. There can be no doubt: Sarah Corbett is one of the finest, most essential poets now writing.'
Kathryn Gray

 

Format: Ebook

64 Pages

ISBN: 9781786948618

Publication: March 14, 2018

Series: Pavilion Poetry

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