Thistles of the Hesperides

Thistles of the Hesperides

9781873226391
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The long title sequence of this début collection is about West Pilton in Scotland where Caroline Smith lived when it was one of the most deprived housing estates in Europe. Yet rather than employing a naturalistic approach, she uses Greek myths to give the poems forming the sequence an overall structure, weaving together strands of individual stories with an account of contemporary political idealism and naïvety. As in Joyce's Ulysses, reality and mythology collide so that the everyday and the mundane are seen in an unexpected and transfiguring way. It is by exploiting mythic exaggeration that Caroline Smith is able to capture the sheer extremity of life on West Pilton.