An aloe – spiky, soothing, fragrant, bitter – opens and names Diana Bridge's fifth collection of poetry. Structured in four parts, Aloe & Other Poems asks why and how we look at the world – and how we may catch in words what we see. 'To look is to be caught inside a wave', Bridge declares, and invites the reader to look along with her as she considers Indian temples, trees in Wellington's Botanical Gardens, a cellist, an enduring classical poem and a superb Chinese pot. Other themes – of loss, generation and repetition – run through the collection like Ariadne's threads. Bridge uses the voices and stories of Penelope and Medea, a warlord and a concubine, the Freuds and the furies, to convey psychological and physical suffering, chronicling the trauma and delight of birth and the curious reappearance of family traits. In this fine collection of new work, Bridge constantly observes and mediates the juncture points of the world from the 'raw edge of wonder'.
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