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HEATH - review



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Reviews of HEATH


"What an impressive, well-researched piece of double-imagination this book is, combining the personal memories of two well-known contemporary poets with a history of the land and townscape in which they both grew up. Read these poems and you will never tread the proliferating wasteland of Heathrow Airport without being grateful for this warm, sprightly, thoroughly entertaining introduction to its rural past."
Anne Stevenson

"Heath: one word, one disappeared world, two poets. Hounslow Heath was a place of mystery, danger, fear, wildest beauty; now, among other neatened things, it is Heathrow Airport. In this beguiling collaboration, which finds two significant and ostensibly very different English poets at or near their best, we are taken back to a place we can never have known – though Greening and Shuttle, who both grew up in the area, never completely lose sight of its (and our) present concerns either. The poems are at times lush, at other times stark, and frequently vivid andmemorable. This is a substantial book, but I didn’t want it to end."
Rory Waterman

"Although ‘Hounslow Heath barely exists today’, Penelope Shuttle’s and John Greening’s poems conjure back its lost acres, returning to roots, treading ‘old desire paths’. Their lines, lilting with place names, find room for the Clouded Yellow butterfly, for the Red Kite, for market gardens with raspberries and rhubarb. ‘Heath’ holds highwaymen, the great planes of Heathrow, the small flight of a bumblebee. Here are poems which dance, which pad beside a traveller, which mimic the shapes of scarecrows on the page. This is a work of love. But beware the ghost with a briefcase – and ‘the Wolf of Perry Oaks’…"
Alison Brackenbury