Hello, hello.. As the year comes to a close, I have an inviting pile of reading mounting up, including Keiran Goddard's For the Chorus, Alison Brackenbury's Then and the anthologies Her Wings of Glass and The Best British Poetry 2014. But one pamphlet I have managed to read, and read again, is Wendy Pratt's Nan Hardwicke Turns into A Hare, published by Prole Books.

Cover illustration copyright the author

This is compelling, powerful and unsettling writing that moves between a lyrical exploration of loss  and a witching woman, Nan Hardwicke, with her shape-shifting lives.
Wendy's title poem, Nan Hardwicke Turns into a Hare is one of those poems that gets into your bones -
with exquisite lines such as: 'I slipped / into the hare like a nude foot / into a glorious slipper. Pushing her bones / to one side to make room for my shape / so I could settle myself like a child within her.'
Who is the host and who is the carrier? Who is carrying whom?

It's one of those perfect poems that is somehow right in itself, like a perfect melody, or composition.
I've been working on a couple of hare poems but in Wendy's the hare-ishness is just there, alive and beating. 
The whole small book (of just 14 poems) explores transformation and grief, and the idea of self within self, the hunter and the hunted. I am so glad I discovered it and urge you to buy a copy. I hope that isn't too gushy, but they are special poems.

And now ... hey, New Year is almost here. I hope anyone reading this has a joyful, bright and healthy 2015 and raise a toast to good times ahead.

I put this little quote from TS Eliot's Four Quartets in my diary at the start of 2014  - 

'For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice.'

May all the quietened voices sing strong..


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