Book Review: River Suite by Roselle Angwin, with photos byVikky Minette
As a wild swimmer and writer I find endless inspiration in wild places and wild water. Reading the poetic interpretations of others, however, is a wonderful way of gaining a different perspective that refreshes one’s own imagination. So, I was enormously excited when I found this extended poem about the OSS’s and my favourite river, the Dart.
River Suite is a limited edition book by local poet Roselle Angwin and photographer Vikky Minette. The poem traces the Dart from Cranmere Pool, the common source of five rivers high on Dartmoor
here where the heart of Devon clenches tight
and squeezes out its rivers
like arteries clotted with granite
Roselle’s imagery is magical and varied as befits a writer whose soul is in Celtic myth and legend. Vikky’s photography mirrors the poetry; close ups of the river where water and light and the riverbed meld into fleeting images of living, breathing beasts: a ghostly bird of prey swooping across a cascade in black water; phoenix feathers in golden ripples; reptilian scales in bronze shallows.
The poem evokes the isolation in this wilderness, the insignificance of people, the river spirits and the unique atmosphere that bewitches all who immerse themselves in or wander alongside the Dart.
if you were to shout here
the wind would carry your words away like birds
As the Dart descends from the moors to the cultivated “soft lands” she becomes tidal and her waters slow and spread with Roselle’s words, before the towns and roads
where the cars leave their litter of plastic and dead birds
a pheasant’s rainbow fading or a torn tumble of badger
Thence to the sea where the rhythm builds like wind chop
come down to the shore
come down to the shore
come down to the wild singing sea
oh slip night’s skins
oh shed your fears
oh come and swim with me
A beautiful book; inspirational, watery, feral, mysterious, joyful. Beyond a wild dip in the Dart’s secretive pools, what more could you ask for?
To order this limited edition go to http://roselleangwin.wordpress.com/books/ and follow the River Suitelink. Click the drop down menu under ‘Buying Books’ at the bottom right of the page and select River Suite.