Spindrift, is the fifth, and latest book of poetry, from Vona Groarke (what a poetic name) from The Gallery Press, and as it is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, it must be worth getting into. Getting deep down and immersed in another person’s way in the world. But how do I do it/ It’s not that it’s difficult or oblique, even though the Poetry Book Society citation says that she is superb at sidestepping or skirting the subject and after the contents, there is a definition. Spindrift – spray blown from the crests of waves by the wind.
I sit at the kitchen table, between sunlight and spatters of darkening rain, and read the poems out loud. My wife, Margaret, interjects – you never read poems to me anymore. My mobile phone purrs and vibrates on the table surface and then the poems open and I can see and feel references to Google Earth, Skype, Text messages (and all that that implies). The poem Texts, radiates – If there were ever words that know of love,,, wrap them in sunlight… send them ahead like a text to alight on a new lover’s mobile… might be as close to love… disclosing its silver ringtone.
Then you sense the crawl space beneath an American porch that opens into memories of England and the West of Ireland. You can taste blackberries and smile at the Irishness of – smear (smeara dubha) my tongue prodigious black.
You become aware of rain and storms and interludes:
Oh, my lost
There’s a catch
At your back.
The love poems whisper to you, why couldn’t you have seen them before and you repeat a line over and over and know you have to quote it – the world means more to me because you’re in it. I would love to quote Love Songs in all its length but limit myself to the opening and closing:
Your email shimmers
In my inbox . . .
What will I do
When I am too old
For such love songs?
I resolve to myself that I will never become too old for such love songs. There are 45 small sections in the title poem and the last reads:
It is all a kind
Of love song, really,
And I am only
Listening to it
Trying to follow
Vona Groarke agrees with me now and that is the gentle spindrift magic of these poems; you think like she thought, and she knows you better than you thought.