The Magnolia – Richard Lambert
Richard’s is the second in our Bridge Pamphlets series. Many of his poems are short – eight lines, seven lines, less. Probably the most difficult kind of poetry to write.
Here’s an example
And all the geese that fly
from here to God knows where
are only ways to tell all will be well,
like the bracelet the newborn wears
or the goose, or where first finger and thumb touch.
You may need to know that ornithologists, studying migration, fix different coloured bands to the legs of geese so they can be more easily recognised. The rhymes and half rhymes that occur are unobtrusive, the letter ‘l’ stitches the poem together. It seems so delicate, yet it contains the mystery of migration (as well as a a nod to the lovely Nursery Rhyme, ‘Grey goose and gander’ – No. 189 in the Opie Dictionary), God, a reference to the comfortable words of Julian of Norwich, a newborn child, and that human gesture, a circle, that we use to indicate perfection. Michael Mackmin
Richard Lambert was born in London in 1971. He has a Ph.D from Bristol University and lives and works in the city. His poems have appeared in magazines and in the Bloodaxe anthology The Poetry Cure edited by Julia Darling and Cynthia Fuller.
“Richard Lambert’s voice carries a stately quietness through the line of his poems without the least sense of contrivance. He is certainly one to watch.” Tim Liardet
“Richard Lambert has the true poet’s gift for transcending the commonplace… The Magnolia marks the emergence of a most attractive and intelligent writer.” John Mole
“Richard Lambert has an eye for the numinous and an ear for a song which come to expression in these startling, spare poems. There is though in this delicacy an intriguing, expansive and often compassionate vision that makes this a surprising and very impressive debut.” Greta Stoddart
Cover photograph by Mike Scott.