As the cold snap continues, there’s a definite feeling in the air amongst we bookish types here in the Literature Works office – we want to curl up with a good book and hibernate until… wait… when will it be warm again?
Typing this, I realise I have just done something quintessentially British, I’ve talked about the weather. There is something infinitesimally satisfying about visiting this well- worn topic, it gives us common ground with our fellow humans and I am pleased to say that is what I think is so wonderfully brilliant about the poems collected in Second Place Rosette: Poems About Britain.
The poems here are united by their explorations of British traditions and, in the present climate, they symbolise something very much needed: togetherness. Poems for each month of the year neatly lead the reader through our annual calendar and in so doing, visit traditions old and new along the way. The voices here are startlingly clear celebrating the ordinary routines we find ourselves in. A particular favourite example is ‘Blackberrying’by Ramona Herdman which celebrates the nostalgic joy of childhood forages for purple jewelled treasures and provides a poignant reminder that that childhood pursuit should be passed on and continued in various ways to future and past generations. Time slips, becomes unimportant it is about the act of blackberry picking itself that is given importance.
Festivities are also greeted with fervour and also with quintessential frankness as showcased in ‘November 5th’ by Cheryl Pearson for example. Indeed, perhaps unsurprisingly, it is the poems collected under ‘November’ that have been captivating my attention and I think this is one of the things I love most about this collection. There is a real draw here to return, to explore the months through the voices of these poems to look forward to and cherish those things which always were, are and will continue to be and now, as I leave you with my thorough recommendation, I’m off to start preparing my ‘Saturday Soup’…
Second Place Rosette: poems about Britain is available now, published by The Emma Press.