Thanks to swiss for tempting me with a couple of postings of poems by Meg Bateman I'm now the delightfully happy owner of her latest collection Soirbheas (Fair Wind).
Never more than now do I regret that my mother never taught me Gaelic (because my father can't speak it). These poems are at once image-packed, dreamy, personal, passionate, very highland Scottish with a sharp and modern edge but I'm left wondering what's been lost in translation.
I only bought the book this morning and couldn't put it down (much to my one year old's annoyance). The intensity and weaving of grand themes with commonplace imagery reminds me a little of Ahkmatova's early collections. Though where I feel a surreal edge is gained through the translation of Ahkmatova's works I have a niggling feeling that something is being lost in the translation of these poems. Anyhow these are just first impressions from a mad rush read through the book. I'm immensely proud of their highland and island Scottishness and imagery so familiar to me in poems so beautiful, passionate and well written (though I wasn't raised there I was born in Stornoway and spent every long summer of my childhood on Lewis).
This book of poems will be glued to my hands for the near future!