Met Obs by Lizzi Thistlethwayte (Waterflag Press)

Tears in the Fence

Met Obsis a large pamphlet, lovely to hold and look through, withsuperb black-and-white photographs by Jen Lindsay.You are encouraged to take your time over these poems: even a four-line poem will usually be in the centre of an otherwise blank page. And they need time: they have a fullness which allows for sudden new directions, jump-cuts, and startling changes of register. There is a strong presence of what feels like rural Suffolk, a particular house and garden, and its surrounding natural world; of night; and also of the sea and seashore. There are other human presences.The idea of a world in endless transformation is there in the first poem, ‘Moly’. The middle stanza has a steady focus on sleet on a ploughed field until, in its third and last line:

‘a seethecapsizing meunmoored strangeness of raw’

Through its characteristic patterning of sound (seethe/memoor/rawcaps/ness), we feel the plough and the…

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