John Wilkinson suggests that Andrea Brady is ‘one of the most impressive lyric poets writing now in English’ and goes on to salute her clear-eyed precise register of tone. This new sequence from Reality Street bears out the full accuracy of that judgement. When Brady’s critical examination of English Funerary Elegy in the Seventeenth Century was reviewed in The Use of English (Vol. 58, No. 2, Spring 2007) the reviewer referred to the adoption of poetic form as being ‘a necessary means of containing otherwise overwhelming feeling’ and the apposite nature of this comment to Brady’s own lyric voice was made clear early on in ‘Japanese Song’, from 20 Poems by Keston Sutherland & Andrea Brady (Barque Press 1995):
Your skin is white like the white
heel of a reed where it goes into the ground.
This new collection of poems, divided into two sections ‘Embrace’ and ‘Presenting’, reveals a maturing of that lyric tone and compassion threads its way through political anger to produce a voice of real distinction.
So the link collapses like an old story
after wearing into a hook then a
wire Then powder drops out
of the air, outlining a man on the ground. We can go
on splinters of horn nailed right into
green trees where they fought against nature,
get bundles of light to tell
us where we went
wrong, downhill out of sight
past all minding.
(‘How much to have a go’)
Buy this book please from www.realitystreet.co.uk