A Fold in the River
Philip Goss and Valerie Coffin Price
Rating: 5 Stars
So my rush of posts dwindled off…I appear to have lost some reviews to the depths of my computer but I’ve reworked them and I think I’m back on track now.
I’ve been really excited about this collection since it appeared in my mail. I mentioned it earlier in my Blogging A-Z post about William Blake, but I didn’t go into much detail as I knew I would be reviewing it later. Whilst A Fold in the River does remind me of a lot of the themes and stylistic choices going on in Songs of Innocence and Experience, the collection is far from a modern day interpretation. There is a sense of partnership between the poet and the artist and indeed the work that they have produced together across the two mediums. The clean lines of the poetry blend seamlessly into the blurred ink of the artwork. Hazy images of the countryside around the river interspliced with rivulets of text.
The collection takes a unique approach and is in many ways like nothing else I have ever read. Certainly – I don’t believe I’ve ever seen ‘gurning’ (a word often used in our very northern family) in a work of literature before. It’s these specific and illuminating language choices that make the collection such a joy to read aloud. It may look like a coffee table art book – it’s awareness of the importance of negative and positive space is certainly to its creators’ credit – but is much more than just a striking a visual piece. Its a delight for the ears as well.
I suppose some books just feel really satisfying to read. A Fold in the River is one of those collections for me and I suspect I could carry on with an endless list of why. But I will leave that pleasure of discovery to you. I have already returned to it many times since my first read through sat by our nature pond in the May sunshine and I expect I will return to it again and again in the future.