In the powerful new poems of Gleam, Sarah Broom explores the effect of a life-threatening condition by way of the landscapes of the natural world, charting the hardest things in beautiful language. Spare and poised, the poems in Gleam have the grace and lightness of some of its own favourite images of drifting feathers or the delicate cartilages of birds in flight. Brooms forte is in encapsulating, expressing and making sense of strong internal feeling and turmoil through metaphor. In controlled, sinewy language and astringent and uncluttered poems, Sarah Broom brings us not just to the deepest questions of existence but to the very experience of mortality itself: we are flesh and blood after all / and we do not like to die. Gleam is a striking exploration of what is worth examining, who may be held on to, and what is worth saving it will open out painful, rewarding vistas for its readers.
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