Call Us:  +44 7772 312 665    Email Us:

Quick Find:    
Book list
Art, architecture & media
D.M. Thomas
Fire and police
First World War
Lesser used languages of Europe
Literary criticism
Painting and its laws
Pioneering women
Revolutionary history
Short Fiction
Traditions and customs
Forthcoming books
Lesser Used Languages of Europe
Out of print
Contact Us
Follow us
Twitter Logo

Facebook Logo
  Top » Catalog » Pages » Reviews
The Hope of Place Selected Poems in English 199񩐬010 by Alan M. Kent

Click here for more information about this book

Reviewed by Cyril Jones in, 28 January 2011

The couplet "If you are born Cornish/then the past always weighs heavy on you" from the poem Curse sums up many of the themes in this selection.

Although the places that have inspired many of the poems are not confined to Cornwall, the reader is continually aware that they are marked with the historical sensibilities of the seafaring, tin-mining Cornishman.

The prize-winning poem The Carvings at Treloyhan describe how "motifs melt and mingle/the way they do in Cornwall,/a layerdness of time" and many of these poems could also be described as contemporary motifs or word-layers.

Out of the Ordinalia, written in couplets, is a year- by-year account of Cornwall's history over five centuries.

One couplet tells us: "1778 This Cornwall, without her language's rich bounty/becomes the South West, some other 'English' county."

So throughout the collection the reader is aware that the deepest layer of all is the rich vein of a lost language, buried under the "naughty Englyshe."

In the dialect poem Fust things Fust this vein comes to the surface and encapsulates the latent tension and guilt that informs the whole collection, particularly the final lines "I may have your language now, but fust things fust/stop bein's' naughty and callin' me Englyshe."

Occasionally, the poet's enthusiasm to remind and enlighten the reader of the rootedness of the Cornish literary heritage is overwhelming in this 300-page collection.

But these English-medium poems deserve a wide readership outside Cornwall and should serve as stark reminders of how cultural and linguistic diversities have - and are - being eroded under the heel of globalisation.

It would be misleading to suggest that all the poems are directly linked to Cornish themes.

Other poems such as the astute, humorous portrait Gaining Acceptance: Lady Chatterley and my Uncle and the contemporary surfing-inspired poem Cribbar deserve a wide readership.

The title of the collection suggests that places in many respects are monuments to the past.

But they are living monuments - and there lies the hope.

Best Sellers
01.From Bow to Biennale
02.Cornwalls First Golden Age
03.The Old Red Tongue
05.Grains of Gold
06.Celebrating Pevsner
07.Surfing Tommies
08.The Way Back
09.Scoot Dances
10.Star in a Night Sky
Forthcoming Books
Featured Books
Regular Cornish language classes with Mick Paynter.

London. The Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Gallery permanent exhibition of women in medicine.

First Sunday of every month, Redruth. Shout with the Red River singers.

Second Wednesday of every month, Luxulyan. Prys Ton Cornish Music Session.

Until 6 January 2018, Southend. Exhibition From Mile End to Mayfair: The East London Group & their contemporaries.

29 September to 17 December 2017, Bow, London. Exhibition The Working Artist: The East London Group.

4 October 2017, Brecon. The Orthodox Church - history, iconography, music a talk by Peter Brooke.

6 October 2017, Aldeburgh. Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Commemoration Weekend with talks, a play, music and the unveiling of a plaque.

20 October 2017, Penryn, Cornwall. Cornish songs from the Red River Singers at the National Dialect Festival 2017.

2022 October 2017, Penryn, Cornwall. National Dialect Festival 2017.

2 November 2017, St Columb Major, Cornwall. Hark! A talk about Cornish carols by Sally Burley and Hilary Coleman.

26 November 2017, Heartlands, Cornwall. Red River Singers at the Weekend Market.

14 December 2017, Bodmin, Cornwall. Shout at Picrous Night.

22 December 2017, St Day, Cornwall. Carols with the red River Singers and the Carharrack & St Day Silver Band.

24 December 2017, Tregajorran, Cornwall. Christmas Eve carols in the Square.