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A Coin for the Ferryman Paperback – 15 Nov 2013

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Product details

  • Paperback: 116 pages
  • Publisher: Grosvenor House Publishing Ltd (15 Nov. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1781486700
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781486702
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 0.7 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,006,376 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Alan J. Stedall VINE VOICE on 13 Jan. 2014
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Insightful and incisive, Scholfield's observations on the broad sweep of life; from cradle and childhood, through the pursuit of love and parenting, and finally onto middle-age and our departure from the world, are unflinching.

Not for Schofield a pink, cotton-candy, cloying view of the world.

She faces up to, and reflects upon, the ugly aftermath of war; the commonplace horror of terminal illness; the sadness of family bereavement. Yet she finds balance in the foregoing by capturing the accompanying joys and beauties of everyday life.

Scholfield's prose is rich and descriptive, whilst remaining readily accessible. Not for her a convoluted, artificial complexity of poetic style that feeds her own ego at the cost of literary difficulty and understanding to the reader. Schofield's style is reflective, self-critical and humble. In this way she succeeds in drawing us into her world at both intellectual and emotional levels.

Her poems roam across time and geography: Here an old woman's three favourite horses return to her hospital death-bed to collect her soul and depart, galloping away with her. There a woman clasps her new-born baby to her chest that still heaves from her labour and prices the infant above all else in her new-found love. Here a multitude of bejewelled humming-birds descend to touch the poet's hair, "like a lover's breath, gentle and insistent".

Here then is a book of poems that face the world as it, rather than as we would have it be, yet still manages to captivate us in an uplifting beauty in both literary content and poetic form.
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For someone often rebuffed by poetry that seems too obscure in its references and choice of language, Katherine Scholfield's slim book has for me proved to be a breath of energizing fresh air. Every one of her poems strikes a chord of shared reality, her language is always simple, direct and unaffected, the voices of her broad range of depicted characters resonating a recognizably common humanity and vulnerability, regardless of their widely different backgrounds and experiences. We are all there, and it is easy to follow her journey of discovery and reflection, of nostalgia for what is lost and gratitude for what is preserved in memory. A true celebration of the myriad facets of life, from exuberant elation to absolute despair -- or simple wonder -- which is what poetry at its best must be. Read, reflect, and enjoy.
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