Each careful word in these layered, honed and elegant poems counts. Writing about her debut collection, From the Dark Room, Gillian Clarke described the work as 'truthful, brave and tender.' In this third collection, Rose takes this compassionate yet unflinching sensibility to look at ancestry and legacy.
Can you see the ghost
of my mother's hook nose
in the subtle snub
of my face?
Rose asks in the title poem, before going on to investigate the many ways in which the 'godless' and 'faithless' both carry an ineluctable inheritance whilst 'not being Jewish enough'. Legacy here also looks at the pain of so many human losses. Framed by the dark, there is always the light of a life's pulse that insists: 'Let us sing and be glad.
Scion shows us how it feels to explore your lineage with poems that land their lines in your heart. They are technically exquisite — Sue Rose is a translator by trade. One role of both translation and poetry is to help heal partisan wounds. In today's cruel political mood, Scion should be translated into every language.