A Graph Review: 50 upwards to highpoint 75
Winter Lines by Daniel Healy is his first poetry collection, published by Cinnamon Press: 9781905614578.
with a second volume, Facsimiles, 9781907090189 published in 2010 also by Cinnamon Press, both priced £7.99.
Both volumes each contain 64 poems, all brief and bare bones of an image that hold the moment as they are read or steal in to open images and memories in the readers mind.
I don’t really do analysis, these reviews are just to decide if I feel a book is worth reading and to keep on the shelf to be read again ……So there should now be a but….. No, but, just as I ‘feel’…….. One point, though I suppose it is not really important, is that I like to see the dateline of when individual poems are written and they are not given here. Dates often appear in anthologies so perhaps I just ask too much. In a single collection a timeline might give some little additional insight into the poems and poet. The other half of me counters that each poem should stand alone unless intended as a group or theme, in which case the author/editor would no doubt indicate as such. Just read the poetry and follow where it leads.
‘Winter Lines’, as befits title and cover, offers poems that are concise, sometimes to the extreme, maybe. At times bleak but always having clear-shot almost photo images. Some are blatant, others are liable to conjure empathy and memory. For me, different readings over the year has skewed the view of some individual poem, verse or line, maybe giving me hints of mild winter depression but offering the strength of imagery to sustain. The whole hits the mark of a winter collection, and there are glimpses of sun. For me this title will sit firmly on the shelf and, more importantly be read for its content and style.
Regular favourite poems: Fragment; Late December; Planting; Belated
‘Facsimiles’. Published in 2010, 978 1907090189
Moving on from the first collection the overall feel is slightly lighter, still stark imagery that I can either accept or, like painting with numbers, infill around the individual core with my own colours and thoughts. The style remains the same this time round but his word-palette seems a little brighter. Maybe re-reading the two collections together I am seeing the similarities more than I ought. This collection has as many lines and poems to arrest the attention as his first collection, indeed more.
Suggestions of my favourites might change if I wrote tomorrow, as they vary slightly every time I read.
Today’s money’s worth are: Foundations; Beached; From Memory; The Gaze
Here, the satisfaction of reading aloud always depends on the poem but only starts to work for me when there are eight, albeit short, lines in these collections. Daniel’s ability and need to pare down offers much in his four and six line compositions but eight or more give both description and depth as they are read aloud, to leave the air with a stillness that allows your mind freedom to accept or search the emotion within.
This is another volume to keep beside his first, leaving space for the next, though maybe I hope for a little change of pace in the third.