40 Poems at 40: Ingrid Wilson.

Published today at Experiments In Fiction and available from Amazon.

As with the best poetry of self-discovery, there is an intangible air of enchantment at work within Ingrid Wilson’s debut volume, 40 Poems at 40, and a yearning, a stirring, a longing, appears out of the ‘word-music’ that she has created here.

40 Poems… is also poetry of place and space, and here lie the clues and the beauty to Wilson’s poetry. Her work is charted, landscaped, travelled, explorative and laden with adventure. There are bright, sad, dreamy postcards telling of the beauty of Barcelona, the slate-grey, but singing, county of Cumbria, Malaga, ‘the emptiness’ of Manchester, ‘the fields’ of London, ‘the ancient pasts’ of Newcastle, the mysterious beauty of Slovenia, Venice and its lullaby… lapping water is never far from her ear.

The work collected here is an expansive mirror: reflective, revealing there to be her children, her loves, her dreams, hopes, fears and doubts. The past and the present are multilayered here often; the future is here, too – it is unclear in the glass and raises questions. Questions and quests; the pool from which the author draws her word-music.

Play beckons. We are asked to have fun with the words as we sound them; the music is found in the sound of the words, sometimes ‘regardless of the meaning.’ But there is also a darkness to be found in this mirror-world. Pieces such as ‘Moondarkened’ and ‘Solstice of The Heart’ hint at a recurring and haunting ‘shadow- side’ where ‘the sky turns black’ and, sadly, ‘where no sound penetrates’, where the word-music becomes threatened and dimmed. Out of these darker and questioning spaces a second voice, a pained and lonely voice, emerges briefly only to sink away again as waves of joy return – the joy of watching her children grow, of travel, of the sun and the wild hills of wonder; at the beauty of the world.

The poems collected here are varied in form – villanelles and pantoums are to be found rubbing shoulders with sonnets, with the stand-alone cadralors, and with looser figures. But it is clear that Wilson is in her element with the complexities – the puzzles, the stretches, and rhythms – of the classic forms. It is within these pieces that her poetry lives. The poems have heartbeats and missed beats; they walk, never run. This notion of the ‘missed beats’ is an interesting aspect to the poems. In her introduction she advises to read between the lines, but… the spaces created by the missing beats become invites to the great poignant voids into which she is not afraid to…

take a leap.

40 Poems at 40 describes itself as ‘poetry of self-discovery’, which it is, but it doesn’t pretend to hold any answers. It is the poetry of ongoing; ‘such is the journey’. The dream, the desire

to become

Just Like Laurel Canyon Carole King

a Natural Woman

happy and free

wheelin’, and

feelin’ Beautiful

Some Kinda Wonderful

in my own skin.

*

A reflective, revealing and rich debut. Newcomers and seasoned readers of her work will find much to take from this heartfelt collection.

Life, ‘they say’, begins at 40

LCCK x

*

40 Poems at 40 is published today at Experiments In Fiction.

Ingrid has been shortlisted for the Spillwords’ 2021 Author of The Year award, is a regular D’Verse staff member and contributor, and is editor and publisher of 2021’s Experiments In Fiction debut anthology Anthropocene Hymnal.

Her poetry and prose can be found at Experiments In Fiction.

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