Reviews of my collections

Rave Review of Artemis, The People's Priestess, by Rosie Jackson

This fabulous review is published in Tears in the Fence in February 2018. Thanks to Rosie Jackson and to David Caddy for commissioning it.

Artemis: The People’s Priestess by Cora Greenhill
(Three Drops Press, 2017, £8)

In the present climate of fraught sexual politics, where years of backlash against feminism are finally having some kind of day of reckoning as male privileges and abuse of power are being called to account (in the film industry and elsewhere), a verse drama which takes us back to the very beginnings of patriarchy – and an evocative reminder of all it lost and subdued – could not be more timely. Yet Cora Greenhill’s long poem never surrenders to mere polemics or abstract feminist thesis; this is a vivid, dramatized exploration of what it means, and has meant for centuries, to inhabit a male or female psyche, and the lasting cultural effects of both, ever since Greek mythology first represented our gendered identity in its various gods and goddesses, and told of the love and warfare between them. You need only look at the full title of Artemis: The People’s Priestess, to know this is going to be a deft blending of classical myth with contemporary reference. Artemis, goddess of hunting in Greek mythology, became Diana to the Romans – hence the jump to Diana, the people’s princess, sliding into the people’s priestess. This typifies the treat of irreverence, irony, subversion, wit, and an artful blending of ancient and contemporary, which run throughout the poem. 

The drama begins with a Prelude in 1450 BC, when a volcano on Mount Thera lays waste the island of Crete, destroys fleets and leaves the populace more open than ever to the controlling powers of religion. Born that night of a union between Leto and Zeus, the twins Artemis and Apollo come to represent the split between matriarchy and patriarchy, the (elder) female strong but enabling the man’s strength, the boy weak, but taken care of by his twin sister, their growth less a complete split than a complicated co-dependency:

I wouldn’t let go of him, so he survived
and wouldn’t let go of me. Original
co-dependency. Start and end of story. 
Could neither split nor live in harmony.

Artemis becomes goddess of the wild, of remote, lonely places – Aeschylus called her ‘lady of the wild mountains,’  - and Greenhill captures in a brilliant, unromanticised way, her passion for birds, animals, the untamed outdoors, dance, freedom of movement, foraged food, sensuality, fertility. Where Artemis is mythology’s ‘arch-outsider’, beyond the rule of man-made law, ‘all she ever cared about was feathered or furred,’ her brother Apollo, by contrast, is elevated to the god of civilisation, of harmony, proportion, transcendence, music, living by the rules he has invented to suit himself, - ‘There’s no place now for a woman without a man.’ This is a superficial and destructive order in his sister’s eyes, easily degenerating into war, the abuse and rape of women, not inherently civilised at all. Thus their perennial conflict and some of the most telling lines come from the siblings’ descriptions of themselves and each other, each aware they are the other’s shadow, the edge of their identity, constantly at odds in their values. ‘You’re hunted, sister, not hunter now. Your subversive teaching is a threat.’ In their ‘last sibling spat’, Apollo, who admits he ‘Bigged up my brilliance…. I never did get mystery…’ asks: 

What exactly was my original sin? Being a BOY?
Or going with those who recognised my worth? 

And Artemis puts down Apollo for his not knowing the less visible way, the road less travelled.  

Of course you’d have been lost!
That’s the point. Don’t you get it yet?
To be lost in love would have made you a man – 
Following the labyrinth’s way, losing yourself to be found.

Indeed, it is their never ending spat, still going on in our culture now, which underlines the power of this work as a feminist epic, a kind of poetic allegory, huge in its ambition and reach, and that is how it lingers in the mind and imagination long after its ending. 

Thanks to many clever contemporary references, the story is constantly pulled into our own day in other ways too: a satire of diplomacy in the Knossos council; a critique of modern farming methods and carnivores; a warning of climate change; an attack on relying only on charity and handouts; men pursuing profit rather than sustainability – ‘they are harming/the balance of our land with all their farming.’; men reckless with their own seed too; and dire Handmaid’s Tale warnings of the punishment facing girls who don’t toe the line ‘Your little girls will be rounded up like rabbits,/ cured of their strange notions and uncouth habits.’

Perhaps all poems can only come from the highly specific combination of personal and cultural factors that go into their making, but this strikes me as conspicuously the case with ArtemisCora Greenhill had English parents, but grew up in rural Ulster, where she felt to be on the edge of a culture. Like me, she studied literature at Warwick University in the heady days of Germaine Greer’s teaching there, and could hardly avoid the lasting influence of Greer’s powerful and unique brand of feminism. Then she taught in Nigeria and lived and worked in Crete, whose history of shamanic, pre-patriarchal ‘Minoan’ society became inspirational. Add to this twenty years of practising and teaching Gabrielle Roth’s 5 Rhythms dancework, marriage, motherhood, travel, a home in Crete as well as Sheffield, combined with writing, art, theatre, and the developing of her own distinct poetic voice in The Point of Waking (Oversteps, 2013) and Far from Kind (Pindrop Press, 2016), and it’s hard not to see Artemis as the happy, even inevitable, fruition of these various strands of experience and intellectual history in Greenhill’s rich creative life. 

If the feminist darts come thick and fast - 

You see, they just made things up
to create male supremacy –
‘s how they invented so-called history.
Wait ‘n’ I’ll put the records straight.

they also reveal the possibility of a different way, less visible than the linear and logical – wild, mysterious. They leave me with a renewed desire to learn more about matriarchal culture and the exact origins of patriarchy, so I’m now dusting off my old copy of Ann Baring and Jules Cashford’s wonderful study The Myth of the Goddess: Evolution of an Image (1991), which Greenhill quotes as one of her seminal texts. Is it true, for example, that when the huntress women removed their boobs, it was not for ease of shooting arrows, but to reduce their market value in slavery?  

Personally, I found the rhyming couplet contributions of the chorus (priestesses) and some of the other characters – Kallisto, Daphne, Hyacinthos, the Greek traders – less compelling than the dialogues and monologues of Artemis and Apollo, as this is so vividly and memorably their story, with all it has come to embody and represent in layers of mythology around gender and the psyche ever since. (Though, of course, everything might be transformed when the work’s in performance rather than being read on the page, and I would have loved to see the production in Sheffield at Off the Shelf’s Festival of Words, 21 October 2017).

Nevertheless, this is a formidable achievement, especially in a poetic culture where the long poem has often been considered a problematic genre for women writers, its roots in epic traditionally making it (despite works like Aurora Leigh) a predominantly male form. How wonderful, then, to have a long poem by a woman which not only holds it own, but radically addresses some of the very questions which have locked us inside unhelpful notions of gender and power imbalance for far too long.  In Artemis’ last words -

a labyrinth will always leave 
its ghostly pathway for those
who know how to walk between the worlds. 

Amen to that. 

Rosie Jackson 

For Notes on Contributors

Rosie Jackson left a successful academic career at the University of East Anglia and elsewhere to pursue a creative writing life. Her poems The Light Box (Cultured Llama) and her memoir The Glass Mother (Unthank Books) came out in 2016. In 2017 she won 1st prize in the Stanley Spencer poetry competition and 3rd Prize in the Hippocrates. She is a Hawthornden fellow. 

Review of Far from Kind by Mandy Pannett

Another lovely review for Far from Kind from Mandy Pannett in Tears in The Fence 65 (edited by David Caddy) - my warmest thanks!

Far from Kind by Cora Greenhill Pindrop Press 2016 £9.99

     Like the orchard in ‘A Hum’, Far from Kind is flooded with light. Here the poems are lightscapes – ‘changing lightscapes we came to call beauty’ (‘Aquatic Ape’), wealthy in gold and kaleidoscopic in colour. Here the sea may reveal ‘the glide of a golden angel fish / then blue spotted ray, / purple parrot, yellow batfish,’ (‘On Chumbe Reef’) or a skyline of birds with wet feathers where the fading day turns ‘mauve, dull silver, deepening grey.’ (‘Last Supper’).
     Far from Kind’ begins with a description of a house being cleaned and prepared for new owners. This involves moving a colony of nesting bees out of the loft, scraping the rafters of honeycombs, of their ‘stash of sticky gold’. (‘The Hum’). This poem sets the tone for the whole collection: the ‘stash’ on display is not just honey but an outpouring of richly sensual, evocative imagery. ‘The Other Hand’ offers us a fine example: ‘I have stirred the cream and the curd/sprinkled spices/cardamon, rose petals, cloves’ says one who has lived among the royal silver-smiths, ‘my skin is silky/as the suspension/of butter in sauce.’ The narrator in ‘Dancing in Zanibar’ is ‘rewarded/with cardamom jellies,/dates softened/in passion fruit.’ We, as readers, are also rewarded, not only with a gorgeous feast of words, but with the fascinating technique of an image personified into metaphor as, for example in ‘The Hum’ where the girl who is clearing out the bees finds ‘the mess’ transformed into a gift of love when she ‘trickles downstairs, slides into night,/belly brimming amber, trembling to be touched, to be tasted.’

     This sense of joy in language, this exuberant exploration of possibilities strikes me as the keynote of Cora Greenhill’s writing. Many phrases such as ‘bogs brash with marigolds’ and ‘harebells in heather’ (‘Nature Cure’) brim with the fun of alliteration or leap off the page with their aptness and wit like ‘lightning that electrocutes the blood’ (‘For My Firstborn’). Among my favourites, also from ‘Nature Cure’, are ‘a wrinkle of cream’ and ‘a curl of new kittens’ closely followed by phrases from ‘Dolphin Trip’ where ‘The bay foams with testosterone/at the first sighting of fins. Twelve speedboats scream/with love lust to spear them,/ snorkels cocked, zooms at the ready’. Opening and closing lines of the poems also show this deftness and precision with words. ‘We would green deserts for that smile’ concludes the narrator in ‘Hannah’s First Birthday’ while ‘Hit’ explores the poignancy of a relationship where ‘Free to leave, you left’ with these ending lines:

There was a time when people thought
smells like oranges and cloves
could keep disease at bay.

But sweets can’t take the pain away
though this is heaven’s scent.

     Others have commented on the images and themes of music and dancing in this collection. They are strong motifs and I would like to explore further the way in which ‘Voices sing words our world has never heard.’ (‘Night in the Museum’). In this deserted museum, closed for restoration many years previously, the marble floor is thick with ‘five winters’ of plane tree leaves, there are ‘wads of cobwebs’ and glass cases at twilight are grimy with dust. Yet above all this there are curves and spirals on vases and jugs that reveal ‘dolphins swimming, dancers arching’ and in an empty Bronze Age room ‘Sistrums/begin to rattle, harps pluck at our hearts.’ Similarly, in ‘For My Firstborn’ the narrator lists an assortment of things she remembers, many things she has loved including ‘drums hammered out from palm oil cans,/rattles of chilli peppers and raffia,/dance steps that vibrate/beyond the feet’. Possible the most striking and original motif of melody and dance is in the poem ‘Single Parent’ where the exhausted mother, faced with her toddler throwing a tantrum on the kitchen floor, copes with her anger by ‘turning the rising/rage into a tarantella no one had taught her, / whirling, to stop herself hurting him.’ In these poems by Cora Greenhill it is not only sistrums that pluck at our hearts.
     There are many voices in Far from Kind including the not only human. There are many settings as well, some exotic, some everyday. There is brutality too, poverty, anger, hardship, an exploration of the seedy and cruel. Most of all, however, there is an overlay to these poems of love, joy and an exuberant relish for ‘the elastic stuff of life’. (‘Hannah’s First Birthday’). In Far from Kind people endure and survive, learn, as in ‘Aquatic Ape’, to see ‘skylight in each other’s eyes’. 

Mandy Pannett

New review of Far from Kind

My deep thanks to D.A. Prince for this review, and to Orbis for publishing it.

RHYTHMS OF HUMAN WARMTH: REVIEW BY D. A. PRINCE Far from Kind by Cora Greenhill, 76 pp, £9.99, Pindrop Press, Mallards, 
Steers Place, Hadlow, Kent 
Cora Greenhill’s name is well-known because her poems appear regularly in a range of magazines (Orbis 169) and I thought this had given me a sense of familiarity with her work. My mistake. Previous piecemeal acquaintance with a handful of poems was scant preparation for the richly-coloured language and energetic rhythms that drive Far from Kind. It travels through Ireland and Nigeria, Crete and the Peak District, having a constant engagement with people and their way of life. The book proves the bonus of reading a full collection, and concentrating entirely on one poet. Open to ‘the mysterious kindness of strangers’ as much as to her own family, Cora finds colour and texture wherever she is: ‘down here on the cracked heel of Europe’ (‘Borrowers’); ‘Like butterflies with folded wings / pinned primly on the bay.’ (‘Dhows’); ‘... Burbage Brook ...freckled with amber light that flickers through oaks / like half-remembered dreams’ (‘Starting with Rivers’). She is drawn to the natural world, to those who live closer to it. 
‘Nature Cure’, its three-line stanzas packed with detail, could be an account of her own childhood as well as providing guidance on child-rearing. 
Neglect your child. Set her free to find home in bogs brash with marigolds, cuckoo flowers, harebells in heather. 
It’s a celebration of positive neglect, the kind that allows for learning about personal relationship with the rhythms of Nature, knowing: ‘to slip a hand under the Maran’s downy breast / for warm eggs ...’, or which neighbour will give her ‘A curl of new kittens to hold.’ This is the Ulster of Cora’s own childhood. Yet ‘For My Firstborn’ turns unexpectedly from all she had loved about life in Nigeria: 
I loved the hypertension before the rains, lightening that electrocutes the blood, maps the night sky with mercury,
ignites yellow bulbs in paw paw trees 


and where six of the stanzas begin emphatically ‘I loved ...’, to build a pattern of intense engagement, but end with a final couplet in strong emotional contrast with the quatrains: 
And I left, to be with your father, make and love you. 
Her instinctive response to music and dance rhythms, particularly West African and Cretan, shape her choice of language, such as in the ending of ‘To my Firstborn’, letting the simplicity of monosyllables reveal the elemental in love. It’s most effective. In ‘Dancing in Zanzibar’, she is ‘looped / into the tunes / feet hips hands / unable not to dance’. With ‘Single Parent’, she shows the mother dealing with a toddler’s tantrum by ‘...turning the rising / rage into a tarantella no one had taught her, / whirling, to stop herself hurting him.’ The shifting rhythms between the poems give the collection variety and energy, a human warmth that she has encountered in every country she has travelled - and she travels with her eyes open. 
In a world increasingly reduced to computer screens, smartphones and virtual experience, we need poems like these. 

Endorsements for Far from Kind

Here are the comments on the back cover of Far from Kind

By Helen Mort, poet, author of  TS Eliot Prize shortlisted Division Street.

'Tender without being sentimental, these are poems that attend carefully to the details that make our world rich: 'the orchard...flooded with light', the 'muscled back' of a great river, an off-key singer who makes the audience dance anyway. Poems that look for the places where 'a day can put you down', or the way life can leave you 'suspended in strangeness'. Every poem is so rich and absorbing. Savour them.' 

By Noel Williams, poet, reviewer, and editor for Orbis and Antiphon. Author of Breath.

'The strongest moments here are Janus-faced. As the poet glories in colour, the palettes of love, sensory delight, mystery, compassion, she sees their shadow: the appetite, a sneering inhumanity, decay, death. The ecstasies of love are found in a ditch. Her poems reach to the light but are rooted in dark earth, with a lyricism that can veer easily into sensuous violence. Her luxuriance in succulent nature spits fragments of grit and blood. She finds anthropological joy in a beggar and thief. In poem after poem she dips into 'the river beneath the river...between tough weeds and broken glass.'

By Carole Bromley, prizewinning poet with several collections including The Stonegate Devils. Judge of Yorkmix Poetry Competition.

'Cora Greenhill, whose strong, witty voice I have always liked, took me on a tour of foreign parts in this excellent new collection. Hers is ‘a voice far from home/melting us like butter.' Her endings are often to die for and there isn’t a weak poem in this book. Whether writing of a neighbour in Crete whose sick wife has ‘smoked haddock skin’; longing to ‘spray paint Wonderbra ads again’; or capturing a thrush, a frog, a much-loved tree given a death sentence, her writing is razor sharp and always engaging.'

By Wendy Klein, prizewinning poet, reviewer, author of Anything in Turquoise, Mood Indigo.

'In this wide-ranging new collection, this poet speaks out in many voices (a heron, a mammoth, the earth itself), for the planet and humankind. Dance is a metaphor that inhabits it. A single mother turns her frustration over a toddler’s tantrum into a dance, ‘The Tarantella’; and even stoats dance! Indeed, the poems themselves break through words into a dance of life:  ‘Feet  hips  hands / unable not to dance,’ in Zanzibar. In a fine sonnet reflecting on Elaine Morgan’s famous aquatic theory of evolution, the poet leaves the ‘aquatic apes’ on the brink of dancing into a whole new stage of existence.' 

New review of The Point of Waking by Wendy Klein

This lovely review by Wendy Klein came out in Artemispoetry in November 2014. 

The Point of Waking, is Cora Greenhill’s third collection, and the opening poem Unhinged, written in direct address, convinced me that the point of waking that day was to read this enchanting collection. The book is in two sections Crete and Wild Relatives, and in the opening poem, Greenhill invokes the colours and moods of Crete on a windy morning where “…this North Westerly... has a trick / of unclasping shutters to slam against windows, / a knack of slapping awnings, / and shaking doors that ache to unhinge.” She continues, “and then you wake up:  “It’s what you do. Wake up, slough off / the sleeping animal, work out / what in the world needs doing,” and we are happy to join her in doing what needs doing in one heartening poem after another.  Two neatly executed modern sonnets, ending with crisp and interesting rhyming couplets (Today) take the reader through the everyday tasks of settling in, meeting the locals, smelling and tasting the cuisine. In Well of Sheep poignancy is smacked by irony as the poet attempts to feed a sheep fallen into a well and is mocked by the locals who are roasting a sheep nearby for lunch, for her foolishness – a clash of cultures sensitively observed: “…Leaving something to starve to death / goes against being human, I start to explain,”  while acknowledging she is , … “still a stranger here, but can listen to …the acapella from the trees / fail to recognise the songs.” Encounters with humans and other entities are interspersed: a Pakistani refugee with an uncertain future, even a scorpion. An imagined meeting with Hestia, the goddess of the hearth  in Change of Hearth ends as  “…Hestia laughs her wicked laugh, / flaunts her gorgeous glow,” and for that night she and the poet ... “will outstare each other, new lovers, burning together.”  An archaeologist finds a cave containing the graves of five female saints, imagines waking them, hearing one sigh “For heaven’s sake, what now?” 
Here is wit entwined with humanity.

The second section, Wild relatives is less specifically themed.  Pieces on nature and ageing were reflective, nicely crafted, but not, I felt, as infused with the fervour of the Crete poems. Comments on the back cover: note that the poems “possess a wonderfully grounded quality…at once anthropological and physical…a delight to read.” I can only agree.

My thanks to David Harmer for this interesting review - so great to be told things that your collection does that you'd never realised!

The Point Of Waking by Cora Greenhill52pp, £9, Overstep Books, 6 Hallwell House, South Pool,
Nr Kingsbridge, Devon, TQ7 2RX
These poems are told with acute observation, rooted in landscapes and in people. The opening piece, ‘Unhinged’, like so many others, is closely textured, layers of narrative knotted together with densely packed rhyme, assonance and alliteration. It also introduces major themes, running throughout the book: the juxtaposition of natural forces against the human condition, and how the former often outguns the latter. In a house, during a fierce gale:
You must fight to fend off its force /while you clamp the stiff catches closed again,/ wrench and secure the latches
I liked this very much, and other poems continue its investigations. In ‘Borders’, a young Pakistani gardener in Crete is on the run from the authorities as he searches for sanctuary. His insecurity and sadness is contrasted with the permanence of the land he is so carefully tending. The poet displays a forensic accuracy when she lists the plants surrounding him: ‘beds of rose bergamot, cinnamon trees / five varieties of sage’, but he cannot stay; he has no papers.
It isn’t just flowers. In ‘A Local Habitation and a Name’ (doffing her cap towards Norman Nicholson), one voice lists many birds and butterflies that exemplify a natural order of things, while a second voice asks ‘will their names outlive them?’, a pleasing expansion of technique as well as a pertinent question.
Other pieces are set in the colder landscapes of Derbyshire, and again, the metaphor works. In ‘Burbage Edge In Snow’, her frailty is ruthlessly exposed against the powers of the natural world: ‘as I, with nothing to cling on to, felt sick /at the skid I could see coming.’ She is also interested in exploring ideas to do with the ageing process. Sometimes we can win a battle or two; here is ‘Nil By Mouth’: ‘this ballooning / happiness, held on a rope of grief.’ But eventually we can’t. The process is as natural as the plants and animals that populate the collection. In ‘Your Love of Wild Horses’, she says, ‘You’d shrunk so small by then / you’d slipped the halter of your life with ease.’ Some poems take on another tone, such as ‘A Sport of Water’ where the narrator watches a loved one wind surfing off the coast of Crete. Inevitably, it invites a comparison between Penelope and Odysseus as well as displaying a lightness of technical choice:

but how my heart/kites/for you

I also enjoyed ‘Seen In Sheffield’ where a group of boys are doing parkour and their exuberance and cool is captured: ‘This / is what boys are: poems freed in air’.
Possibly some will question linking the natural world with immutable truth, and opposing it with a faltering humanity but that is Cora Greenhill’s message, one expressed with passion and technical skill. In the end she is right; our name may not outlive us. 

Review from David Caddy on the Tears in the Fence blog

Cora Greenhill’s The Point of Waking has more than a whiff of D.H. Lawrence and that is no bad thing. She draws upon female saints, goddesses, mythology, circle dances and Christian worship as part of the backdrop to her book. Cretan agriculture has been in decline for some decades now and she registers the changes. A profusion of herbs and flowers, sheep stuck at a well bottom, women toiling in the garden, displaced people and creatures, populate the book’s foreground and give it a wide-eyed focus on contemporary Crete.
Greenhill’s poems explore the wild places and natural world of Crete in a deliciously sensual and lived way. Her suggestive vocabulary and cultural accretions energise moments of being and life’s cycles to produce a pungent and elemental poetry.
The slub and slap of the waves were only
a restless ally to my toss and turn
that clammy night, and dawn had a dull veneer.
Stubbornly aching back and blear
from broken sleep, still I stumbled to the water,
as I had resolved, to swim. On surfacing
I catch a flash, a splinter of sea, a glint
like glass in air. Then, alchemically distilling
his perky form from black pumice, bright fisher king
surveys his day – with me alighting in it.
Her poems are wonderfully grounded in the physical, the working and dancing body. She reveals a pointed picture of modern Crete with its multifarious and changing tourism, migrants and refugees from Africa, Serbia, Pakistan, and is alert to both ritual and the stories of labouring men and women as they harvest olives, herbs and other crops. A poem rich in detail about a Pakistani illegal, who walked through Iran to Greece and hides in the mountains ends: ‘The thyme is on fire, seething / with bees’.
The raw and cooked are nudged along through nuanced and succulent language. The poems probe, elevate and mark boundaries.
The yellows: rabbit brush, cliff rose and snakeweed.
Browns were onions, oak bark and tea.
Deep red was juniper, but most precious of all
was a pink from a shrub called purple bee.
These grains were so few, they were kept in a skull
of a grasshopper the wind had spun in. And we’d ask
and ask, what were rabbits, what were bees,
what was a snake, and what the colour of grass?
I am proud to have published several of these sensual and deeply felt poems. They are quirky and live on in the memory.
David Caddy 13th August 2014

Reviews of Deep in Time

Deep in Time (Dreadful Work Press) was my last collection, published way back in 2000. It has sold many hundreds of copies. Here are some of the things that were said about it then.

'Cora's poetry cuts to the bone and illuminates the heart.'
- Gabrielle Roth, author of Maps to Ecstacy, Sweat your Prayers, Connections etc
'These poems have the trick of getting under the skin, entering the blood with their spores of wildness. Earthy, sensuous and vibrant, they have a subversive energy that states the femaleness of life, placing it at the very centre of things. Here, the body that bleeds and cries and grows and loves is the pulse of spirit, the dancing dress of power, and like a fresh east wind makes us shiver in the recognition of that primal wisdom in women.'
- Rose Flint, poet, author of The Blue Horse of Morning (Seren), Nekia, Firesigns and Mother of Pearl

As for Cora Greenhill's Deep In Time, there are serious insights and beautiful moments here, and two or three poems achieve near-perfection.
There is a group of moving poems about the poet's miscarriage, and a sequence (The Strength of Cups) on the difficulties of combining love, work and privacy. Of other poems, I particularly like The weaving of a gate... "you have in mind/a gate of woven willow. . . I!. . . I see gates as intentions/lifetimes in the making//. . . !/would we want our hearts' homes/knocked into shape/with nails?" But perhaps my favourite of these poems is Breathdance. "He breathes his songs through a short reed pipe./There is no knowing/What is his voice, and what the sound of the pipe.//'We don't have a word for music/in our language./Music is the same as life./ . .'/He does not smile, he is smiled,/and the light shines from us all/I am drawn to a space on the ground/danced by the songs/and the big moving airs of morning."
Greenhill has given a great deal of thought and care to the ordering of her book. The poems are set into a reasoned and satisfying progression, so that each resonates with its neighbours and in the whole scheme; as if each poem is a single line in the large-scale poem which is the completed book. It's an art in itself.
- Joanna Boulter - Second Light Newsletter VII, 2000
I am moved and fascinated by Deep in Time. I found the miscarriage poems particularly moving and powerful, especially Part of October's dying...Your wonderful exactness of language thrills me throughout the book, from your naming of flowers in 'Harvesting Long Meadow' to 'limpet's limey cloister' in Prayer on the Seashore.
  • Catherine Byron, poet, author of Settlements, Samhain, The Fat Hen Factory, The Getting of Vellum etc.

  • The first thing to strike me about Cora Greenhill's second volume of poetry, Deep in Time, was the cover. A gnarled, shadowy face looks out at the reader, mouth open, as if to ask for something. The book also contains drawings and paintings by Pauline Rignall and other women artists, which complement the writing beautifully.
  • - Elly Tamms - The Inky, June 2000
Cora Greenhill's poems are an earthy, visceral homage to our Wild Spirits. They are suf -fused with a tactile sense of the land; whether the seascapes of Crete, to which Cora has a spiritual and dynamic connection through her 5 Rhythms dance work, or the moors and dales of the Peak district where she lives. This is shamanic poetry, rooted firmly in the earth; it seeks, and finds, truth and meaning in vividly drawn details of nature. It is unflinchingly honest, sometimes painful poetry that invites us also to share the inner landscape of a woman's life; the aging, the losses, the dancing, the love and celebration. This is poetry which sings of ancient spiritual truths and yet remains firmly in touch with the reality of living our lives in connection with our selves and others.
- Rosemary Doyle 

Poems and reviews of my book, Deep inTime (2000) can be found on my old website

No comments:

Post a Comment