“Nicola Warwick’s poems take place in entrancing, liminal territory in which the human sensibility encounters the natural world. Deep kinship, mystery and otherness are conveyed through acute observation and transformative imagination. The language is precise and often surprises. Take, for instance ‘the sky, red as a swallow's throat’ (‘Late high summer’), or ‘roots easing through earth / were a voice making itself unheard’ (‘And the trees (said)’). These poems reveal a special sensitivity and to read them is to feel our ‘Human Portion’ enlarged. Highly recommended.” Moniza Alvi
“‘How to speak of this’ Warwick asks in these nuanced, thoughtful poems concerning landscape, seascape and wildlife. Encompassing intimate losses of family and nature, the collection delicately explores our ‘egg-tight grief’ in distilled moments of striking imagery and accomplishment. Ultimately, these poems hope that we may find in nature, as ‘The Courteous Farmer’ does, a ‘second heart’.” Heidi Williamson
The Human Portion is very liminal and very grounded.
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for the soft scrape of their claws
as they slip out from under the eaves.
of the little interlopers who stir only
as we are readying ourselves for sleep.
for their ragged shapes to take to the air,
for them to stutter like ticker-tape into the dark.
their squeals and calls, a quiet chit-chittering
as they gather for the off.
that will not silence, suggest I still them
with something like mindfulness.
I watch from the window for their exodus,
count them out, count them all back in.
[…] I sense an underlying yearning to reconcile the human with the natural world in this mesmerising, closely-observed pamphlet.”
Sue Wallace-Shaddad, OPOI, Sphinx, full review here.
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