Omm Sety  

Shoestring press, 2001, £ 5.95, ISBN 1-899549-51-X

Extract from Omm Sety:



‘In Omm Sety [Greening] returns to Egypt and links present and ancient in the figure of Dorothy Eady (born 1904) who after the birth of her and her Egyptian husband’s son took the name of Omm Sety, meaning ‘mother of Sety’.  Sety himself was named after the Ancient Egyptian King Sety I.  As a child, Dorothy had had a fall and mistakenly been pronounced dead.  After this ‘return from the land of the dead’ she became convinced that she had had a previous life as a priestess in the temple at Abydos, and against taboo been King Sety’s lover.  After her marriage ended, she stayed on in Egypt as an archaeologist and grew ever more involved with her ghostly lover. In this 35 page long poem, Omm Sety herself speaks in matching free verse stanzas each of 23 lines while Sety speaks from the other world mainly in metrical verse which shows great variety... A short review cannot cover all the facets of this wonderfully rich poem...’

John Haynes, Critical Survey

‘Greening does a fine job of interweaving all the various aspects of his sequence and is particularly successful in generating a sense of the fine line that divides Eady/Omm Sety from her former life, and Sety from his beloved ‘Harp-of-joy’ (Eady)... It is, of course, this romantic attachment that lies at the centre of the sequence, and that gives it its primary emotional dynamic.  However, Greening has achieved a diverse poetic here that is not merely restricted to the romantic, and this is also poetry that is both scholarly and witty...  Divinely inspired or not, Greening’s control and his breadth of vision result in impressive poetry, and show the value of a long poetic sequence when it is handled well.  Omm Sety is a resonant and intricate piece of work which deserves to be widely read.’ 

Matthew Jarvis, English