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The Earliest Witnesses Reviews

The Earliest Witnesses by G.C. Waldrep

The Earliest Witnesses

G.C. Waldrep

Score pending

1 review

Category: Poetry, Non-fiction
Imprint: Carcanet Press Ltd
Publisher: Carcanet Press Ltd
Publication date: 28 Jan 2021
ISBN: 9781800170360

Waldrep's seventh collection, the UK debut of a multiple award-winning US poet, explores the connection between touch and language with poems rooted in landscape and spirituality.

4 stars out of 5

"Waldrep’s poetry is excellent, from its startling images to its percussive music"

Like Geoffrey Hill, to whom he is often compared, Waldrep lives with one foot in the past. A number of poems are inspired by visits to rural Welsh and English churches, often abandoned – though he rejects that word. “No space is ‘abandoned,’ ‘disused,’” he insists. People may come and go, and “Every century or four someone scrubs the/ images from the walls and replaces them with new images”, but these spaces have an enduring vitality of their own, brought into focus by Waldrep’s sharp, strange vision. In “Llandeilo Churchyard (II)” he writes: “Like a bubble, like a stretch of glass, the church understands gravity, but not quantity. It worships the dog-rose, a bit.”