Praise and Poems
Sarah Hymas’ confident language and vivid imagery gives an unusual vitality to this collection. In Bedrock four generations speak of their lives in a sequence that pays homage to the institution of the family. A clear eye for period detail and an ear for the inner voice bring the characters to life, their particular fears and pleasures, conflicts and tensions. Elsewhere in the book, she shows the same robust awareness of life’s underlying currents and quests together with a will to embrace its fun and poignancy. It’s good to be in such wholehearted company.
The voices, the stories, the detail and the imagery are powerful, superblycrafted and original.
These poems are written as though several generations of the same family are still speaking, as the dead and living indeed do in all families. The poet’s land speaks as an ancestral character, but strangely. A feast of defamiliarisation and significant foregrounding, a nourishing image of lives and landscapes.
From Mud, Two Presents, 1927
Your father is right, of course,
clay makes for durable walls,
but there’s more to a marriage
than its house. More to mud:
porcelain, glazed for pleasure,
cool and foreign as a geisha.
I did not sculpt my present
as your father built his,
but with one son, each parent
must claim their own ground.
Hold this vase with fingers like petals.
Place it well. Listen.
As a shell speaks of the sea,
hear what this silk voice can teach.