My first poetry collection has been reviewed by one of Amazon’s own review team, Shell Tidings. The review is mostly favourable. Here is is, verbatim:
A modern day Wasteland.
‘Cold Comes Through’ offers up a highly personal collection of a son’s memories of his father’s disappearance into Alzheimer’s and his father’s eventual death. The initial Author’s note resonates, stating that poetry belongs to us all (regardless of the monetary siftings of publishers say I). Throughout this work, objects take on the imprint of Jim Bennett’s father, not only as all he has left of his loved one, but also as an extension of the human being himself. In ‘Made to Last’ the malleability of cedar wood becomes a metaphor for life’s twists and turns, losses and loves. Loss is personified in the season of Fall, the edges of a life browning like leaves and migrating birds winging like a soul, leaving the mourners behind to face cold December. In one of my favourites ‘White with Aluminium’, even peonies in Spring are hidden underground in an image of sub-terrestrial hope. In other favourites ‘One Second’ describes a captured moment between loved ones and ‘The Gatekeeper’ beautifully evokes in countdown the expectation of an unamed thing in a relationship. If had one tiny quibble, the poems could occasionally have ended sooner. There is no need for a poet to explain meaning. For example, I would have liked the brilliantly realised metaphor ‘Picture of Wolves’ to finish with the tail of a sock, as death relentlessly chases down its prey. Yes, I have many favourites in this evocative collection that speaks to all of us who have experienced loss. The indents of the lines themselves hint at the washes of the tides of grief and meet the literal tides of a lake, whose ‘algal clouds’ and ‘tall sky mirages’ in ‘On The Bridge’ allegorise the depths of relationships. Pain is etched out in grit and vivid imagery of a grief-stricken landscape, thrown into relief by ‘ragged lids from tin cans and brown glass shards of beer bottles’, the ravages of which remind me of T.S. Eliot’s ‘Wasteland’. And yes indeed, I am aware of the comparison I make.