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No Map Could Show Them

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  115 ratings  ·  18 reviews
* A Poetry Book Society Recommendation 2016*

'When we climb alone
en cordée feminine,
we are magicians of the Alps –
we make the routes we follow

The poems of Helen Mort's second collection offer an unforgettable perspective on the heights we scale and the distances we run, the routes we follow and the paths we make for ourselves.

Here are odes to the women who dared t
Paperback, 96 pages
Published June 2nd 2016 by Chatto Windus
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Apr 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
This collection is themed around women mountaineers from the Victorian era to the present, though the poet touches on other subjects too. I love the idea behind this collection, but though I enjoyed the poems about different mountaineers, some of them did not explore their mountaineer in enough depth, and I wish Helen Mort had written more. The sequences, for this reason, worked best for me. My favourite is the last sequence, which is not about an individual mountaineer, but focuses on Everest. ...more
Virginia Rand
Mar 30, 2017 rated it liked it
I quite liked Helen Mort's poetry because I usually understood what she was talking about and she discussed some really heady subjects. My favorite was Lil's answer. ...more
May 23, 2017 marked it as to-read
Having read this gorgeous poem from the collection, I now really want to read the rest of it! And the few that I was able to read from the opening of the book (using Amazon's "look inside" feature) were equally wonderful. ...more
Neil Fulwood
Feb 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Mort’s second collection is an admirably plain-spoken assemblage of poems preceding from a celebration of pioneering women mountaineers (Mort herself is a climber). A rugged sense of place is inhabited by a succession of strong, sometimes defiant personalities. A mordant sense of humour threads through the book.
Miles Gould
Jan 27, 2021 rated it liked it
Some very good poems (especially the ones about Alison Hargreaves), and some that didn't do much for me. ...more
Oct 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I was in love with this from the beginning! I do think it was a case of right-book-right-time, but I would still have loved it, just perhaps I wouldn't make so much noise about it!

There is not a single poem in this collection that I did not like, just ones that resonated with me more. I also enjoyed the fact that I was learning about lesser known people in history and about social events I had not heard of. I do love learning!

Mort's writing isn't in-your-face lyrically beautiful, but each poem c
Feb 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
'Kinder Scout' is a perfect poem.

This is a very impressive collection, but that was my main takeaway. It made my gut do the thing.

Feb 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Poems about women and breaking new ground and climbing to the heights. I'd like to read more from Helen Mort. ...more
Joseph Spuckler
Oct 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
No Map Could Show Them by Helen Mort is the poet’s second collection of poetry. Mort has previously published Division Street which was shortlisted for the Costa and TS Eliot Prize and won the Fenton Aldeburgh Prize. She has released two smaller collections one for Derbyshire, where she served as poet laureate, and another called a Pint for the Ghosts. Mort also performs in Poeta with flamenco guitarist Samuel Moore ( Reminiscent of a modern day version of Patti Sm ...more
Anne Brooke
Jul 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
This is a thought-provoking collection, and a good proportion of the poems were stunning. I particularly enjoyed the themes of women and their relationship with the environment and nature, and also the hints of story behind the verse. It has to be said that one or two of the poems tended to meander, and the poet isn't quite sure what to do with longer verse. However, I will be looking for more of Helen Mort's work. ...more
Nov 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Good solid poetry, introducing me to new people and events but accessibly.

Many of these poems are about climbing, some with local relevance, others real mountaineering. That the latter still gripped despite my general lack of knowledge or interest in the subject is testament.

Some I was coming to again from Mort's Derbyshire Laureateship - it was good to meet old friends.
Joe Avary
Jun 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
A refreshing collection. Many of the poems have to do with mountaineering and historical figures within the sport/activity.

But my favourites were about Big Lil at 17 stone

Sep 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
Clear and to the point, Helen Mort’s writing created beautiful imageries. I can’t say this book was a memorable read for me, nor that I will be returning to it, but it was a great read.
Mattea Gernentz
Mar 29, 2021 rated it liked it
"And the clouds / over Derwent mended / and we were briefly glorious, / though neither of us had / built, would build a single thing" (47). ...more
Richard Sanderson
Nov 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I found this an extraordinary and powerful collection, full of imagery that made me gasp. Feminist mountaineering poetry may be a niche area, but, goodness, this is wonderful stuff.
Oct 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars
Jenna Gareis
Jan 09, 2021 rated it really liked it
Just finished this poetry collection by Helen Mort. It explores the mountains we climb, geographically, emotionally, physically, and socially. 5/5⭐️s

Five things about No Map Could Show Them by Helen Mort

1. Many of these poems sent me down google rabbit trails looking for more context. I like that kind of inspiration in anything I read.
2. Rhyme pops up irregularly throughout the collection like the jarring ring of your doorbell when watching the tension mount in a horror movie. In a good way.
J.S. Watts
Dec 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A tightly worded and lyrical collection.
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Jessica Omari
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Sep 19, 2018
Tess Dennison
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Aug 07, 2016
Edward Ferrari
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Apr 30, 2017
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Jan 31, 2019
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Apr 08, 2018
Hel Foreman
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Aug 06, 2017
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Jul 28, 2020
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Jun 30, 2017
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Helen Mort is a poet and author from Sheffield, South Yorkshire. Her collection Division Street was shortlisted for the Costa Prize and the T.S. Eliot Prize and won the Fenton Aldeburgh Prize in 2014. She was described by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy as "among the brightest stars in the sparkling new constellation of young British poets". She is a Cultural Fellow at the University of Leeds, and o ...more

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