People are at the heart of Helen Oswald’s wise, humane poems. She explores the complex web of relationships which define our place in the world. Her poetry is shot through with images of connection and separation as people move towards and away from each other. In all her work there is an unsentimental yet tender fascination with our ‘second-hand planet’ and how we make our lives on it. Learning Gravity is Helen Oswald’s debut collection, following from her acclaimed pamphlet The Dark Skies Society (Waterloo Press).
Helen Oswald's poems are intricate, fine and beautifully crafted, underpinned by melancholy and a sense of what is missing or unsaid. She travels the world, guaranteeing surprise, a new way of seeing. Learning Gravity moves between elegy, memory and love, always grounded, always with a powerful awareness of place. Jackie Wills
SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2010 FORWARD
PRIZE FOR BEST FIRST COLLECTION
£8 inc p&p (UK)
ISBN 978 1 904551 77 5
Rough Work (from learning gravity)
The damp, sweet, Southern summer
thickens like syrup, turns chapters
of our holiday novels into pancakes.
High in the pines, a shrill persistence
keens some forest loss unknown to us.
We are visitors here.
Unseen in the half-light, a blade
tears at the air, slices silence,
cuts through our time
so that soon we will find
our days piled up like logs.
Rough work done for the winter.