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The Poetics of Contemplation 1 : Love's First Look by S C Fordham

(2010, printed by MPG Books Group, £8.50)

I must admit I struggled to review this collection of poems by Sarah Fordham. It’s not that it’s not good poetry, rather that most of the poems just didn’t work for me. I found the majority to be slightly esoteric and not easily accessible.

That said, there are some gems that I loved.

Remember Me is a beautifully moving piece about the penitent thief on the cross beside Jesus, and If I Were a Poet contains some cleverly crafted lines that display Sarah Fordham’s love for language.

I also liked Taken, Blessed, Broken, Given which is almost liturgical in its simple beauty as it first paints a picture of the Last Supper before slipping effortlessly into prayer. 

Sarah Fordham is a keen observer of our world and the social and political aberrations that sometimes make life hard to bear, and she spares nothing of her own emotions as she commits frustration, regret, fear, loss and worship to paper in these poems.

Maybe my initial indifference to some of this collection is due to the need to return for a second or third reading in order to unlock their treasures. So much poetry is intensely personal to the author and it is not always immediately apparent to the reader what has inspired the writing of a poem, and some work is required to make it so.

In spite of my misgivings I would say, if you love poetry and the English language then give this collection a go. It may not have all been to my taste, but for the joy of reading those gems that were, it was well worth the read.

Read more and order the collection at    
Martin Collins is Production Manager at CPO, and co-author of Three Sussex Poets (White Door Press, 2009)    

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