Still Dancing | Mary Thomson
‘The voice of her poetry is a voice of special quality, capable of precision and suggestion, of empathy and detachment, of spare economy and subtle colour. The poet is sharing insights, not soul-
baring or axe grinding. These are poems to return to again and again. Their sensitivity to the natural world is such that we seem to see familiar things anew and with extraordinary freshness.’
‘Still Dancing is like a well laid out garden, with each poem complementary and worthy of its space. Thomson has a painter’s eye for the visual as well as a poet’s way into art. She can also tell it straight—indeed we might wish Plath had been able to attain the perspective of Thomson’s powerful “Daddy”. The storytelling is always interesting and often intimate, indeed reading this significant collection feels as satisfying as a good conversation with a friend.’
‘This is poetry that hinges on reminiscence, but makes it relevant to the world today: evocative, emotional and effervescent. I enjoyed every word; even when it meant I plumbed the depths, there was always air and lightness to emerge into. At its best, good verse takes the reader on a soul journey and Mary’s work engages place to achieve a time traveller’s delight, dipping in and out of past and present to future revelation and realisation. Extraordinarily good work.’
‘It is no accident that Mary Thomson is a painter as well as a poet. Her keen eye and original perspective are evident throughout this collection, as in “Women’s Work” where amidst the trappings of the cathedral, she glimpses another kind of artist at work:
Beyond the nave a woman framed by a door
in a room which was a box of light
was trimming the stems of lilies.
Lives of family, of the poet herself, of history, cross like ley-lines, inviting us to reflect on what lies beyond what we see.’
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