|Kalamata Olives with Basil and a tang of Peloponnesian Orange and Lime|
TIPS for Writers magazine, 83, issue 3/2011
editor: Wendy Webb, Norfolk Poets and Writers
I recieved a copy of this edition of TIPS a few days, and as ever, have found it to contain a feast of new poetry. I chose the photo above because it seemed to represent (to me at least) something of the mouth-watering Mediterranean flavours evoked in 'Olives, Grapes, Cicadas, Sun' by Norman Bisset. We find ourselves listening to the sound of cicada 'choirs' and watching the fall of light on Doric columns. We see the very roots of civilization emerging alongside the twisting stems of olive and vine.
Wendy is always one for a challenge, and in her editorial she writes that she would like to see some palindromes, including her own verse form, the Palindromedary Sonnet, submitted for the next issue [Later note: Wendy's link no longer exists, July 2012]. She is also keen to receive some Folding Mirror poems in the form created by Dr Marc Latham. You can read my post linking these two forms here on Marc's Folding Mirror Poetry blog.
The poems in this issue represent a plethora of situations. We follow some steps behind the one (presumably a health professional) who walks beside the parents of a baby in 'Acceptance' by Margaret Whitaker, the winning poem in the 10th Anniversary Tips Competition. Then we take a completely different turn and feel the buzz as Kay Weeks dances the night away at Mar de Jade.
Kay's poem embraces the geckos and turtles that help to populate this Mexican landscape. Norman Bissett brings us back to the shores of the UK with his poignant observations regarding the decline of the 'Camberwell Beauties'. Bernard Jackson's sonnet 'To a Hidden Bird' resonates for me with words by Edward Thomas. You can read about E.T's 'Unknown Bird' here on The Solitary Walker blog. Bernard's evocation of Jesmond Dene, the leafy 'interlacing canopy of green', rings true for me - and I spent five very happy years of my life in that neck of the woods.
A feature I particularly like in this issue is the editors' page (p.23). This contains sample poems by Ronnie Goodyer of Indigo Dreams (IDP) and Geoff Stevens of Purple Patch. Ronnie's 'Breakbones' with its intoxicating rhythm draws us in to take a closer - careful - look at the wild flowers such as Bog Asphodel on a stretch of West Country mire. Geoff's concrete poem, 'Looking out to Sea', needs to be seen in its eye-glass shape to be fully appreciated, but its array of 'blue' words is compelling.
If you would like to take out a subscription to TIPS in this its 10th anniversary year, you will find Wendy's details on the Poetry Library Southbank Centre site here. Thank you, Wendy, once again for an engaging and colourful read.