Reviews of Recent Poetry

The High Window


Christine McNeill’s Sehnsucht reviewed by Wendy Holborow

Sehnsucht by Christine McNeill. £10. Shoestring Press. 978-1912524631

An unusual title fortunately explained on the back cover as something that can be defined as an intense longing. Sehnsucht bridges the gap between reality and possibilities, similar to the untranslatable Welsh hiraeth. This collection of 50 poems focuses on sehnsucht as its central impetus.

What an excellent image to begin this collection in the first stanza of the very first poem, ‘Outing’, as the poet tells us ‘Your car moved away like a whale / freed from a sandbank, / out into the open / I did not know.’ And later in the poem, ‘I drew the final minutes of the return journey / in long, winding threads.’ A premonition of many more jewels of imagery to come, and I wasn’t disappointed.

The more of the collection I read the more aware…

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