Sarah Hymas

Host (2010)


PLEASE NOTE: HOST is currently out of stock. We will be reprinting in accordance with our publishing schedule, not likely until Dec 2021 or Jan 2022. Any back orders will be fulfilled asap, or you might like to check back later in the autumn for confirmation of the expected date of arrival.

Sarah Hymas’s debut collection is, like its main theme, ground-breaking. It explores heritage: familial, social and environmental. Investigating notions of territory, these poems skein out our complex relationship with the natural world — how, guest, stranger or gardener, we’re pulled into its dynamic cycles. The two sections of Host flare with distinct tones. In Bedrock four generations of one family reveal their hopes and disappointments: glinting in the stones of Yorkshire, love, in all its universal peculiarities, sustains and agitates this extended narrative sequence. In Landfall the canvas expands beyond home, to encounter a dark riot of colour: a more playful, if elusive, world of travel, sailing, friendship and sexual awakenings. Throughout, these poems display a metaphorical numinosity, illuminating the sacred within the familiar. This book heralds the arrival of a passionately muscular voice, rooted in necessity and physical experience.

Read review:
‘Guest Review: Westcott on Hymas’, 19th March 2011 by Sarah Westcott

Out of stock

ISBN: ISBN 978-1-906742-19-5 Category:

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.
Mike Barlow

The voices, the stories, the detail and the imagery are powerful, superblycrafted and original.
Bernardine Evaristo

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.
Herbert Lomas

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.

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