I’m not quite sure where March has gone, but in amongst all the comings and goings I have actually read not one, but two books.
Having been listening to fellow South London gal, Kate Tempest’s album ‘Everybody Down’, pretty much on repeat, I decided it was time to explore the roots of where she began with performance poetry, and so I picked up a copy of Brand New Ancients.
It blew me away. Literally. In fact, the moment I finished it I immediately started it again, just so I could savour the mastery of her raw words and observation of these modern times we live in, for a little longer.
…he was supposed to be the man of her dreams:
he had a smile like a jewel in a sewer,
knuckles like an open tool box,
eyes like Kahlúa –
The intertwining stories of the everyday ‘Gods’ – a recurring theme in Kate’s work – and told on these pages, are heart-wrenching and beautiful and sad and triumphant. I wish, like Kate, I could find the words to express the raw and painful beauty of this slim volume.
She knew her Tommy so well, he had the heart of an artist, but she couldn’t make out the grain of their wood through the layers of varnish,
Hold Your Own was published a year later, and whilst it has been an interesting read with some wonderful moments, it didn’t quite grab me in the same way as Brand New Ancients. I think the longer exploration of a theme portrayed in Brand New Ancients, means you are soon caught up in the energy and urgency of the words on the page, and just go along with the ride. Unfortunately Hold Your Own didn’t quite get me in this way, but I am sure I will dip into it again in the future .
Of course I am now desperate to see Kate perform, but will it break the magic?
This post is part of The Year in Books project hosted by Laura at Circle of Pine Trees. Hop over to her blog to see what others have been reading and join in.