I’ll Splinter by Tom Branfoot (Infernal Editions)

Tears in the Fence

My grandparents’ house is called ‘Tod Cot’. I had never really thought about it much – a random arrangement of sounds and syllables, it simply was. But the first poem in Tom Branfoot’s debut pamphlet,I’ll Splinter, gave me pause. The title of the poem, ‘Cotlight’, is a lovely word which, I learnt, refers to the light shining through windows after dark, from ‘cot’, a rural dwelling, now ‘cottage’. Tod is an old country term for fox, and now the two pieces of the puzzle fit together – Tod Cot, fox cottage, den, holt, home, the words unfurling themselves before me.I’ll Splinterencourages this kind of reframing of the everyday, as Branfoot’s sharp eye picks out the poetic in the pebbledash and tarmac of the in-between places.

‘Cotlight’ is a fitting introduction to I’ll Splinter – it is an invitation, an invocation, a calling. ‘go there’, the poem…

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