Penny Feinstein’s poetry is almost English and almost rural. Somewhere just out of view lie other worlds and uneasy histories.
Feinstein’s themes grow out of the quotidian realities of life, emerging like the creamy-capped mushrooms she celebrates. Her dramatis personae are musicians, craftsmen, family and friends, with glimpses into the lives of strangers. Each leaves their mark, makes something unique out of raw, everyday materials.
The poems in the first part of Willow Pattern take us from dinner-table to mountain-top, from simplicity to deeper understanding. In “Getting On”, the sequence that makes up the second part of the book, the poet bears witness to the decline and death of a parent, delineating with honesty and compassion the wrenches of adjustment and the long, slow farewell.
“So, tentatively, I probe the management
of your death. Not hustling or writing you off,
just trying not to be caught in the glare
of pain or fear or guilt or time or love.”
About the Author
Penny Feinstein taught in inner London schools before retiring to Derbyshire where she began writing. Her poems have appeared in Jewish Renaissance, Staple and Second Light as well as in anthologies published by, among others, Bloodaxe Books. This is her first collection.