Ghosts and Other Company
The dead keep their watch on the living in The buried army at Xian, the centrepiece of Jenny Joseph's haunting, haunted new collection. In these unsettling, eerily evocative poems, she keeps company with many shades and shapes: ghosts from the past rising through the present, ghosts of the hearth keeping the house together, ghosts embraced as well as ghosts wished away. Ghosts and other company is Jenny Joseph's first new book of poetry for over a decade. Her readers will recognise the familiar territory of her 'thinking heart', but her angle here is at a different slant, her mysteries are more resonant, her questioning more urgent, and her voice is both stonier and yet more personal than in her earlier work. These poems take language to its limits, speaking from the other side, echoing the unsaid.
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A chair in my house after Gwen John
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Alan Hancox babe beaming blood Bloodaxe bloom Break the circle breath bright broken things chair stands circle Flaming cleaned colour comfort corner dazzle Dead snake dealt the cards Delayed crossing door drew and won Drifts of clouded dusk earth empty fire Firework flesh flowers Friends gather Ghosts returning give for love glitter gone goodbye Grey days Grit Hallowe'en hand hedgehog hill Hold me close honour of love interrupt Child Jenny Joseph keep Lake Huron land lay-by Lean and listen leaves limbs Little person living look memory mind mirror move Night of millenia Phalanxes pile of sand play poems Poetry Polished pulled quiet Rodborough round seeps shadow shining simplest sentence skin Sleep of centuries soft song stop There's Thinking Heart thought town track tree tulips Turkey Turns the rope wait Wales watch Welsh wind winter woods yellow soldiers