Jan Fortune on Snow Child

Abegail Morley’s Snow Child is a tour de force that moves on from her excellent debut short-listed for the Forward Prize for best first collection (How to Pour Madness into a Teacup, Cinnamon Press). Morley has an uncanny gift for the intense and slightly disturbing, for looking objectively and in minute detail at what might otherwise be unbearable and bringing it into the light.

The clarity of these poems is dazzling, always perfectly controlled. George Eliot wrote, ‘If we had a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel’s heart beat, and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence.’ Morley approaches such vision, yet also the skill to mediate it with elegance.

 Jan Fortune