“The poems in Patience address problems of the human condition with a subtleness in technique, a gentleness in approach and a fresh outlook that avoids the cliché or overstatement such poetic themes can sometimes acquire; these poems are beautifully balanced, carefully crafted and the emotional content is all the more powerful because it is so well weighed. Some of these poems subtly convey the sense of a physical loss, others explore the trials of separation and the difficult adjustment in relationships. Grief is expressed but they also remind us of the power of human connection. Joy is held in our memories; in ‘Signs’, there is ‘the glow of orange even in dark beginnings’. These poems touch deeply and yet maintain a calm and measured face. Nina Lewis holds in her hands cogs of isolation, grief and loss moving along the wheels of love, of hope and of patience.” Julie Boden
Patience is very intimate and very fond.
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The Dark House
It started life as a home,
until the red bricks,
colour of rust, were abandoned.
The empty house
bore the brunt of nature;
tilted slates let water in.
It became a habitat
for shadow animals,
At night, the edges of its frame
were accentuated by bypass lights:
silhouette house, secret of wild hedge.
The road beyond the garden
In sleep I walk the dark house,
enter the ash kitchen,
feel my way across charcoal tiles,
my paper feet never find the rooms,
never make it to the stairs.
I awake to light
spinning my darkened dreams.
I keep my eyes closed,
until only blue remains.
'[...]“Patience” is a reminder of the value of connection between generations, legacies of objects and character passed from the contemporary to the future. The poems show sensitivity and an acute focus, exploring different aspects of an overall theme. Their gentleness acts as an invitation to the reader to engage with and interpret the poems. Their pace is measured which combines with a calm tone to explore grief, loss, legacy and intimacy. The title, “Patience” is apt. These are slow poems to enjoy at leisure.'
Emma Lee, full review here.
"[...] this collection actively encourages our seeing beyond the harrowing experiences that being human entails. [...] I feel I will recall Nina Lewis’ Patience in those darkest moments."
Mhairi Owens, Sphinx/OPOI (One Point of Interest), the full review 'A call to the light' here.
"[...] Lewis’ short, crisp phrases are excellent at conveying the profoundly relatable experiences of uncertainty, vulnerability and ennui. Her poems explore both the sense of helplessness and futility in trying to both come to terms with the vast abstractions of time and space, as well as the experience of these concepts within intimate structures such as relationships and memories.[...]
"‘Patience’ reinforces the idea that the time and space around us is charged, not necessarily with any sententious significance, but with a more elemental and formidable force: the ‘electrical surge of the universe’. In this idea of patience, there are always possibilities [...]"
Phoebe Walker, Sabotage Reviews, full review here