The new collection from the winner of the Costa Poetry Award
Jean Sprackland is celebrated for her tactile, transformative poetry which makes the miraculous seem familiar and the domestic other-worldly. Her new collection is tuned to new and deeper frequencies. ‘Green noise’ is the mid-frequency component of white noise – what some have called the background noise of the world – and these poems listen for what is audible, and available to be known and understood, and what is not. Each poem is an attempt at location – in time, in place, in language. Some enquire into the natural world and our human place in it, by investigating hidden worlds within worlds: oak-apples, aphid-farms, firewood teeming with small life. Others go in search of fragments of a mythic and often brutal past: the lost haunts of childhood, abandoned villages, scraps of shared history which are only ever partially remembered. A physical relic or a mark on the landscape seems briefly to offer a portal, where a sounding is taken from present to past and back again.
Deeply engaged with the flux of the world, these poems are alert, precise and vividly memorable – listening to the ‘machine of spring/with all your levers thrown to max’, ‘hearing the long bones of the trees stretch and crack’.
“Sprackland likes to read the sign language of the natural world… These poems are exact and well made, their lightness of touch often given drive by a fierce vocabulary.”
Peter Scupham, Literary Review
“Jean Sprackland’s Green Noise has a tangy, earthy smell about it. She is a snooper on the natural world, a conspiratorial poet who upturns things to find out what’s odd about them and, almost incidentally, explores her own lostness as she goes.”
Michael Glover, The Tablet