A flight of beauty
I read Crow Gods in one, breathless sitting. Rather than a collection of poems, it reads like a single, sustained exploration of the emotions that link us to one another and the world we live in. There’s a tenderness to all these poems, those dedicated to family, children, memories naturally enough, but even in the humorous evocation of the drunk outside the pub in Obby Oss (and I didn’t need a translator’s note), in the frankly touching portrait of the farmer in Spirit, and in the quiet nobility of standing upright, keeping moving against the tide of illness, as in The crow gods and Fear and Courage.
The bird theme ties this collection together. From delicate goldfinches stitching us to the sky to the almost human rooks, with their black-clad elegance that is never entirely serious, their eavesdropping and mocking, gossipy laughter. Children are birds too, build their own nests, learn to fly but flock with family, never breaking away completely.
It is the tenderness that remains with me after reading and rereading these poems, the ease with which Sarah Connor, in a handful of simple, perfect words, gets so deep beneath the superficial, that she finds that elusive place of common human understanding. Sail is perhaps my favourite of all. The honesty of it makes me want to weep.