It’s wonderful to see two of Valerie Bloom’s poetry collections (The World is Sweet and Hot Like Fire) reissued in one volume. Perhaps it’s in celebration of her MBE last year. Over the last ten years, she has become one of our leading children’s poets, particularly through her performances and the appearance of her work in anthologies, while her collections have been sometimes difficult to get hold of. The subjects here are familiar ones – life at home and at school, ghosts and football – drawn from her two worlds, the world of British childhood and her own Jamaican childhood, and in two languages, Jamaican patois and standard English. There are a number of moods, from the gently introspective or contemplative, through the mysterious, sinister or jokily bizarre, to the joyously exuberant. And plenty of boy friendly poems. This work, from more than seven years ago, by no means shows all the facets of a poet who continues to extend her range but it exhibits her strengths: her relish for the peculiarities of language (whether it’s turns of phrase or word play), her storytelling skills, her emotional sensitivity, her sense of fun, her ability to enter into a child’s world, and, above all, her love of rhythm and the pure sound and pattern of words. There are plenty of poems that beg to be read aloud. These are the strengths of a poet who, while never stooping to easy crowd pleasing, can enthral an audience with the pure magic of her words. There is a glossary of patois at the end of the book.
http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png 0 0 Richard Hill http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png Richard Hill2009-05-01 17:20:362022-12-13 17:22:34Hot Like Fire and Other Poems
Illustrator: Debbie Lush