48 Trojan Herrings & Tripidium

Sophia Wellbeloved

Waterloo Press 2008


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The single voiced utterance, not unlike Ella Fitzgerald at her finest, deft and effortless. Metaphysical metaphor: the chanter of beads, recurring enlightenments filled by seeing. ‘I am making events my mother.’ Condensed darkness – turning over slowly and without comfort – and mighty display: ‘My worlds swing out from me like spider babies.’ This is the poem as snowflake but tinted, running with hues; perception as interactive force fields. Maybe memory, too. Tripidium has people with names (Sal and may, Paul and Ted) and stories but they’re all kept in a dark larder of jars. Whole orchards rather than solitary fruit.

I, too, have come across degenerate, violating Zeus’s (but kept my distance). ‘Soon they were whirling together bound by their own emanations.’ Ah, yes. Yet the clear, cool distillation is still there: ‘Watching her attempt to become the Martin Luther King of the laundry room, though giving out an atmosphere of an unpredictable Caligula was a wonder for me.’ I love the stream god and his toll system. ‘Only the children go toll-free.’ The short poems are like diving into soft pools and there’s nothing round about except sky and the close bushes and the cry of unseen birds. ‘Tripidium’ is a river journey with all the widening out and narrowing down that destiny brings.
Andrew Rawlinson, (from the Foreword), France, 2008

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