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Poet to Poet #5: The Holy Place

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Poetry. John Dotson of Carmel, California, and Caroline Gill of Swansea, Wales, share poetry across the Pond, in celebration of Dylan Thomas and his daughter Aeronwy Thomas. This is the fifth chapbook in a series that features a poet from the UK and one from elsewhere. The Holy Place is published by The Seventh Quarry Press (ed. Peter Thabit Jones in Swansea) in conjunction with Cross-Cultural Communications (ed. Stanley H. Barkan in New York).

52 pages, Paperback

First published May 1, 2012

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John Dotson

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Profile Image for Juliet Wilson.
Author 15 books42 followers
January 28, 2013
The two poets here have very different but complementary styles. John Dotson's poetry is mostly minimalist. I particularly like:

let's take cicadas then
in madly chanting crescendoes
along the honey suckle-lined
mud pathed riverbank.


The second half of the book is devoted to Caroline Gill's poetry. Caroline is a bit of a rarity these days in that she writes formal poetry and writes it well. Her sestina 'The Figure at the Phoenix Mine' included in this book won the Petra Kenney Poetry Competition in 2007.

Many of the poems here are informed by this love of nature. 'Ice Maiden of Zennor' features a snowy owl that very unusually was spotted in Cornwall. The poem is to a degree reminiscent of Poe's 'The Raven':

Silent flakes are floating gently
high above the ocean spray;
owlish eyes look innocently
on the sailor's winter way.

There's also a hint of Poe again in 'Monte Testaccio: Mound of Potsherds' though it features cats rather than a bird:

Can you hear the paws
that prowl proprietorially
and saunter round the cemetery
beside the Pauline Gate?

This poem took me right back to a mountain village in Italy several years ago where my partner and I discovered a group of cute (and quite smelly) feral cats that were prowling most proprietorially!

Lovely poetry and good value too at only £3.50 including postage and lacking within the UK.
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