Jean Sprackland is celebrated for her tactile, transformative poetry which makes the miraculous seem familiar and the domestic other-worldly. Her new collection is tuned to new and deeper frequencies. ‘Green noise’ is the mid-frequency component of white noise – what some have called the background noise of the world – and these poems listen for what is audible, and available to be known and understood, and what is not. Each poem is an attempt at location – in time, in place, in language. Some enquire into the natural world and our human place in it, by investigating hidden worlds within worlds: oak-apples, aphid-farms, firewood teeming with small life. Others go in search of fragments of a mythic and often brutal past: the lost haunts of childhood, abandoned villages, scraps of shared history which are only ever partially remembered. A physical relic or a mark on the landscape seems briefly to offer a portal, where a sounding is taken from present to past and back again.
Deeply engaged with the flux of the world, these poems are alert, precise and vividly memorable – listening to the ‘machine of spring/with all your levers thrown to max’, ‘hearing the long bones of the trees stretch and crack’.
Jean Sprackland's Green Noise has a tangy, earthy smell about it. She is a snooper on the natural world, a conspiratorial poet who upturns things to find out what's odd about them and, almost incidentally, explores her own lostness as she goes. -- Michael Glover * The Tablet * Sprackland likes to read the sign language of the natural world... These poems are exact and well made, their lightness of touch often given drive by a fierce vocabulary. -- Peter Scupham * Literary Review *
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