The Dog of Memory
Published by Bloodaxe Books
The dog of memory, an animal more often unbiddable and capricious than it is comforting and predictable, roams the landscapes of its choice: not only place, Helen Farish’s native Cumberland and further afield – mornings in Sicily, night skies in Athens – and people, but also the landscape of literature itself which is explored through re-readings of ten authors encountered during her school days.
Farish’s doggèd and deeply moving mediation on memory ranges far and wide, but is also weighed against a love of the present whose ‘poise is the pause of a church bell suspended / rim-up after its stroke.’ The weather of snow, which often evokes as well as muffling the past, is replaced by ‘liquefying high-sky heat.’ Rendered in poetry of dexterity and poise, this authoritative third collection takes the reader on a thrilling journey which is lyric, dramatic, enquiring.
Helen Farish won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. She has also received a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and been shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize.