Your poem "Sponged Out" in Bewildering Stories, is simply beautiful! Your use of color and light is absolutely fantastic! Your transition to emotion, to pure passion, and then to something cold and dark is extremely well-done! I really love those last two lines: "cadaverous as the trees"! Man, that's something special! Really excellent work!
Andrew L. Hodges
Published by the Lucy Quieter Press, Wendy Holborow's tenth poetry collection, Shipwrecked, contains poems written over a number of years and many have been successful in competitions or previously published in respected poetry journals. Although problems encountered in today's broken society are a common theme and many poems address such dark subjects as unrequited love, war, poverty and death, the poems themselves are anything but depressing and readers are likely to readily identify with the poet's distinctive take on universal issues.
Inevitably, the older you get the more likely you are to encounter such grim realities as illness and death. This latest collection by Wendy Holborow may centre on such themes but there is also much tenderness and universal appeal as she recalls lost love, rich childhood experiences and less personal but equally thought-provoking issues. An impressively diverse range of styles and subject matter are to be found in this collection. It's a great read.
I loved it. Super-apposite now, of course.
Like lots of things about the book actually - great to see an elegy for Nigel Jenkins, really admire 'Chercher le mot juste', like the Pessoa poems too, and enjoy many others. Some of those I liked most took off from juicy epigraphs - Ibsen, Brecht, etc. Also realised how much colour there is in your writing! Congratulations on another fine collection.
I SEE HER
I see her through a cubist’s eye
chiselled planes & angles mingle in black & white
disentangled, broken up & rearranged
in geometric form.
I see her through an impressionist’s eye
rapid dabs of paint, dots, distorted,
sparkling patches of light & colour,
I see her through a miniaturist’s eye
minute, modelled like a doll held in the palm
of a hand, such infinite patience,
I see her through a surrealist’s eye
confusion, un-recognisable in shape or form,
her reality disguised in the triptych mirror of art,
I see her through an icon painter’s eye
dark image illumed by silver & gold, a halo
above her head, so exquisite it is considered
I see her through a portrait painter’s eye
perfect in every detail as she gazes
out of the canvas of imperfection, her inner essence,
a slight smile, gentle contentment,
no smudges of a dark fanciful world apparent
in her reasoned demeanour as she sits,
The Cha Ca Cha that was Danced in the Early Hours of 24th March 1961. A Painting by David Hockney.
I didn’t know you back in ‘61
things would have been different –
childhood sweethearts –
two red he(art)s instead of the br(own) upon black
black for you who cheated,
brown for me the conspirator
conscripted to y(our) love
your name worn on my sleeve
not on my upper thigh
as we dance – not the cha cha cha,
in each other’s arms
your voice wrapped around me
aware of the warped jealousy
of other women wanting you
only have e(yes) for me
I love every mo(ve)ment
quavers dance across my neck
The trees are cadaverous in the early morning,
sponged out of the vibrant composition,
until the emergence of a bright nerve of colour –
not the sweeping trails of deep pink bougainvillea
climbing the walls of apartment blocks, nor the violent
blue of jacaranda near the gardens of Mon Repos –
but the vivid memory of when she danced under the cupola
with its glass dome shivering splinters of light
across the floor
picking out colours in the gypsy skirt
she’d worn to impress him when infatuated.
She must take care her imaginary conversations
when he’s around
so she goes to where the cypress trees are black
& stripe the landscape like brush strokes on a heavy,
dark & disturbing oil painting, devoid of colour,
where her bitter orgasm empties icicles
onto the brittle needles
& she is sponged out of all vibrant compositions
she has become as cadaverous as the trees.