‘Here in deep earth, the black
blossom of mourning still sifting within me
I remembered that emerald was my birthstone …’
Prize-winning poet Ruth Padel’s heartfelt new collection is a grief observed: an elegy for her mother on her death at the age of ninety-seven.
Exploring the riches of emerald lore, Padel follows the glint of green – ‘green for awakening / for bringing life back from the dead’ – from memories of her mother, a naturalist, to the black honeycomb of a Colombian emerald mine and sunset-pink of the Emerald City, Jaipur. Beneath everything shines the jewel itself, ‘the only stone in which the flaws are prized’.
Beautifully carved and cadenced, Emerald is a moving chronicle of value and loss, and a celebration of all that is precious in the life that remains.
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- Chatto Poetry
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