Navigation - Kate Carruthers Thomas

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Addressing experiences of displacement and connection to both place and to people, the poems in Navigation traverse landscape and memory, mingling the two. From the sediments of natural structures to the erosion of memory, Kate Carruthers Thomas uses beautifully controlled metaphor to explore the tensions between familiarity and strangeness, whether in how we perceive the world or is the changing dynamics relationships. Poised, honed and sharply observed, with a feeling for what goes on beneath the surface of things, Navigation is an outstanding debut collection.


What living is

We were chasing the dead that day, travelling west
through lowlands of drift-deep green, edged
with cloud-water, compressed by sky;

chasing blood-thick threads through
unremarkable towns, trying untranslatable streets
on for size. Excavating the names of the dead.

Among sodden stone records and lumpen, brown grass,
the mapping of dates on desire to belong,
your thoughts turned to somebody recently passed,

We toasted her later, you rehearsed her best moments,
how much she was missed. Then, the past drawing level,
we talked of how love can survive a cold climate

and what living is.

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