As autumn draws in, here at Literature Works, we’re certainly feeling that this is reason enough to curl up with a good book and forget about the cold nights beyond the window pane. Indeed, nothing is more appealing than the soundtrack of a crackling fire as one escapes into a world of another’s making. It may not be surprising then, with this sentimental reading habit that when Rose Cook’s latest collection Hearth landed on my desk, it seemed like the perfect read to kick off autumn with.
From the outset of this powerful collection, there is an inescapable warmth of feeling which is clear and consistent in the poetic voice. As one delves deeper into it, every passing poem causes one to consider that term ‘hearth’. There is a real sense that these are poems to be shared at the epicentre of one’s home considering as they do matters of life, death, togetherness, loneliness and what it means to be alive. There is, in these pages a real sense, which consequently inspires a desire to draw one’s loved ones close and take stock of our relationships and indeed, our very existences.
Taking the idea of the ‘hearth’ further, the collection’s title not only encourages the reader to indulge in a poem or two in front of the fire, but on a more metaphorical level, the hearth here provides the perfect base upon which for the poems to collect. Memories, observations, exultations and the grievances of life are all combined here to pay homage to life and all of its joys and struggles.
Difficult though it is to select a poem (or poems) which have resonated with me, staying with me after reading, I must recommend ‘First Meeting’, ‘The Autumn Shift’ and ‘Elephant’ for their nostalgic, wistful and yet profound employment of memory and emotion, for me making them the perfect poems to consider and enjoy as we venture forth into a season which is bound up with the memory of things past and the hope of what is to come. A thoroughly recommended collection.
Hearth is available now from Cultured Llama.