A Massacre of Hummingbirds
Published by Stonewood Press
“People say it can’t be trusted – language, that silvery disease…” In this startling debut, Paul Blake leads us on a virtuosic journey through language and landscapes – urban, exotic, historical, imagined, erotic, rural – and on the way invites us to find our own destinations, our own cures for the silvery disease, our own ‘rough breathing’ and ‘quietly moving on’.
“A Massacre of Hummingbirds is an impressive debut collection. The bravado of the poem ‘For I Shall Consider the City Pigeon’, sits unusually comfortably beside the ragged beauty of ‘Buddlejas’ growing out of bomb-sites. The poet’s humble meditation on the white currant fruit in ‘Cuttings’ and the allegorical ‘Fall’, the poem that gives the collection its title, speak of both the breadth of Blake’s erudition and his use of simple, but beautiful, language.” – Jacqueline Gabbitas
"A Massacre of Hummingbirds is a lyrical mediation on all aspects of nature; the sigh – exhalation of breath, birds, bees, and the body. The poems are beautiful, gritty and harsh. Blake demonstrates a mastery of the lyric in these subtle, rich poems that always yields surprises with an inevitable sonnet like turn. The stresses in some of Blake’s lines strum like the pluck of a harp. There is a musicality that hypnotises the reader, stunning imagery and illuminating observances of the ordinary everyday make this a remarkably addictive collection of poems." – Malika Booker