It is often winter in Sue Leigh’s poems.
But the darkness is almost always weighed against a pale sun - the brightness to be found in nature, quiet, making. Or in a loved place where one can walk among old trees and listen to the wind.
She is a poet interested in the possibilities and limitations of language, in particular the relationship of sound to silence, how we may catch hold of the living moment. Whether she travels to Japan or walks in the fields near home, whether the time is now or the distant past, she inhabits a world that is both mysterious and familiar. How might we live in such a world, what matters in a life, what of ourselves do we leave behind?
‘T.S. Eliot famously said of Marvell’s poetry that it showed a “tough reasonableness beneath the slight lyric grace”. Something similar comes to mind reading Sue Leigh’s poems. They have a lightness and elegance to accompany the emotion which is always there. But there is a harder element in them too: a platinum-like thread that gives each poem its own form.
‘I feel the influence of David Jones in her perception of things as signs/something other. I also find in her writing a great tension between opposites – profusion and austerity, the dark burnished.’ - Pauline Stainer