Here is a collection of striking images and finely honed observations. Sophia Wellbeloved has the knack of charting the inner through the outer, making the processes of the world and the traces of history hieroglyphs of our hidden selves.

The poem which rose last night is waiting
to be skimmed, or I am waiting while the poem
lips to the skimming spoon…

The opening words of this collection offer alternative parabolic readings of mysterious and overlooked process in the outer world, (rising and skimming in kitchen or pantry) as a key to the interior and mysterious processes of writing and reading. In almost every poem thereafter a concrete image or an every day process takes on a second (sometimes a third or fourth) life of its own inside the reader. Sometimes the images are skimmed from the everyday; hats, motes of dust, grains of salt or sand, sometimes they rise the arcane, esoteric and disturbing. But either way the images in this poetry are neither random, nor explained but seem to be pressing themselves towards something interior in us.

MALCOLM GUITE was born in Nigeria and raised in Africa and Canada, he is a poet and singer-songwriter living in Cambridge, where he also works as a priest and academic. He has published two collections of poetry; Saying the Names 2002 and The Magic Apple Tree 2004 and has also published poems in Radix, The Mars Hill Review, Crux, Second Spring and the Ambler. He has collaborated with Kevin Flanagan on jazz-poetry and also the oratorio ‘The Ten Thousand Things’ for which he wrote the libretto.