Award-winning poet Rosie Jackson is in her element with her latest pamphlet, Light Makes it Easy. Richly informed by literary and spiritual antecedents, these poems are also completely themselves – both modern and mystical, intimate and universal. There’s a fearlessness at work here: ‘…perhaps its time at last/to write that letter as appendage to your will,/say exactly where you wish your books/art//ear-rings/body to go…’ There’s also a fullness of vision that holds, seemingly without effort, life in one hand and death in the other. And the bridge between them? ‘…I long for wood, simple planks planed/from apple or beech. Then I’ll find courage in the smell, recall those walks when only goodness seemed possible,/borrow light from long afternoons we lay on the lawn/surrounded by larkspur and cranesbill…Tonight, though, the bridge is packed like Waterloo/at rush hour, everyone pushing on to somewhere unseen.’

Library cataloguers will likely categorise this as a lockdown collection, but Light Makes it Easy is not just of the moment. There is an enduring elegance about the poet’s voice that will bring you back with joy to re-read many of the pieces. Some will spirit you away to wild places, some will have you down on your hands and knees in the poet’s garden, some will stop you short as her tireless self-questioning gives rise to your own – ‘ What can I do, in the face of so much paring,/ but look more closely at things I have ignored?’ Nature in all her workings is ever-present. So too are multiple facets of what it means to be a woman – as mother, lover, artist, healer.   If I could only choose one of these poems it would probably be Hildegard’s Remedy, with its ‘memory of warm bread, the comfort of a kitchen where love/holds the ladle’, and its promise that Hildegard’s remedy will take its effect,  that the man who is being treated ‘will smile for the first time in months, will pluck a blade/of grass taller than his hands, put it to his lips and make it sing.’



Light Makes it Easy by Rosie Jackson is published by Indigo Dreams and available here:Light-Makes-Easy-Rosie-Jackson