Review of ‘Chiaroscuro : Poems of the Peak District and Further Afield’, by Hilbre S. Marriott

This review is by Julie Bunting, and was published originally in The Peak Advertiser, the Peak District's local free newspaper, on 26th February 2007, and is reproduced with Julie's kind permission.

Poems of the Peak District and Further Afield

by Hilbre S. Marriott
ISBN 1-901-214-67-2 (2007)

Our part of the country inspires artists and photographers, writers and poets and simply lovers of the outdoors. Hilbre S. Marriott strikes an eloquent combination in this new publication from Ashridge Press/Country Books.

Hilbre, who lives in the heart of the Peak, delights in walking through ‘its patchwork of fields, surrounded by limestone walls, quaint villages with ancient churches and trails rich with wild flowers ...’ She also paints in watercolours and explains that her choice of book title, Chiaroscuro - light and shade - is because her lines reflect an occasional sadness too. Our chosen example, entitled February, has hints of both:

It's been such
a dismal winter,
I've decided on
Instant Spring!
Bought lots
of primulas
in pots
each one a garish posy.
I'll plant them
in tubs
and troughs -
Forget the
leafless trees,
cold winds,
driving rain,
the whole winter bit,
and yet -
here's hope,
a lowly snowdrop
hangs its head.
little one.
Here is
the beginning
of winter's ending.

This timely poem is just one of more than 60 diverse titles in this relaxing and evocative collection.

Review by Julie Bunting

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