Thanks to St Edmund Hall, Oxford.
“Sonja – ‘spring 5’. An irreducible lyric, reminiscent of haiku, expressing love and loss; the simple gesture at the end is eloquent. Whatever the traditional associations of blackthorn – good wood for burning, sloe gin ?? – this poem makes the tree into a personal symbol, convincing and strong.
‘Searching for spring’. This seems to be a journal entry and/or a prose poem involving a conversation between a caretaker and someone else; but where do we move from his speech into the speaker’s thoughts, and is someone else present? Nothing is clarified, so we’re in a strange hinterland. Nature’s steady rhythms are at first unsettling. The invasion of dust, ants, and damp-stains is set against the human craving for tidiness and control, with a humorous concession to picturesquely authentic cobwebs. I enjoyed the tongue-in-cheek comment on the word ‘learned’ being ‘in two bits’. The last line has a lovely lyrical precision, with the spring light sloping in long and low like a promise.
‘Silence’ – another of Sonja’s enigmatic poems addressed intimately to an unidentified listener. I liked the tone of this, and found the last line satisfyingly mysterious. What is the ‘it’ that will come quietly like spring, and what sort of connection is being made between this kind of quietness and the enforced silence of the doll? (Whenever the gagged or blindfolded dolls turn up as accompaniments to Sonja’s poems I feel thoroughly haunted.)”
i did not know you, yet
when i saw that you were
gone too, i felt sadly.
i stood and looked at the
.. searching for spring…
the ants are in the kitchen. will leave by easter. he said it should be on the same day each year; he is learned, pronounced as two bits.
cobwebs away, yet not all of them. an old house., national trust where all is care and cleaning. they leave some now for authenticity.
it has been a wet winter, look at the water stains in the fireplace.
do not fret, i know you worry, i will paint it over in the spring.
it is a long time since the sun shone in long and low like that.
. silence .