There is a deep pleasure in discovering a new poet, on a shelf, at a reading or festival and such was my delight to be given Circling the Core an eleventh poetry collection by Myra Schneider who comes to read and conduct workshops at the Imagine Festival in October. Here, is poetry in full bloom, full of insights, turns of phrase, a garden of promise as she explores the heart of memory and the inner sense of things.
Published by Enitharmon Press, this collection is a treasury to luxuriate in, the paddle a distant shore of memory, to be surprised by freshness in revelation, to explore words, shapes the intention of a line, the choice of a word and the pleasure in sharing that aptness of description.
I loved, the narrative gentile description, almost at a discreet distance in Hotel, where lovers come to change their lives and make decisions of the heart and future amid a world, a place of tranquillity where nothing seems to change. You will meet “politicians full of promises,” “pink sherbet”, “weeping cacti”, “a life of adulation and plenty”, “sex which somehow she didn’t enjoy”, “loneliness,” “feeding on memories in hotel rooms” and a nun “innocent as snow”.
Schneider also explores a contemporary Orpheus myth in Eurydice’s Version, but it is a poem like Sister Kennedy that will remind many men and women of the regime at Airmount when it was a maternity hospital. This is no lovely dovey in praise of new life with new mothers “who’d been touched with passion and entered” but a last verse to make you sit up and take notice – a bitter after taste.
Myra Schneider will read at Greyfriars Gallery at 8pm Saturday 30th October and give a 3 hour workshop on the same day starting at 2pm at the Athenaeum House Hotel. For a workshop place contact Mark Roper at firstname.lastname@example.org