Review: Suzy Rigg ‘Songs of my Soul’

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Divided into three parts of an inner journey—Discovery, Holy Fire, Resurrection— Suzy Rigg’s Songs of my Soul is a diverse poetry collection. It has pieces that tackle the aches of isolation and fear and loss,’ For one so alive/ it is hard to believe, you are gone’ as well as more jovial light verse about the London urban experience, such as ‘The C-O-M-M-U-T-E’ in which one feels the, ‘touch of a strangers bag or case/ The jolt of an armpit right in your face’. Rigg’s début is a ‘song full of longing, loneliness, fear.’ (p.5), but it is also, ‘a joyous chime of freedom’. From allusions to Red Riding Hood in ‘Footprints’ (p.6) to Rapunzel in ‘Things not forgotten’, these poems are often suffused with the primordial archetypes of fairytale, an eerie play of life and death. The book is striking; in ‘tightrope’ Rigg’s experiments with concrete forms while exploring the fragility of life and elsewhere with subjects as difficult as the black diaspora. It’s also sometimes wry, warning at one point that ‘all characters are creations of this poet’s imagination and any similarity to persons you may know is just spooky.’ Songs of my Soul is an impressive introduction to a new and original voice. I look forward to more work from this poet.

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Monday, 19 February 2018

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