Jo Shapcott — Of Mutability

I have hardly read any poetry since I left school. So in the past couple of months I’ve loved dipping in and out of this gorgeous collection — inspired by my sister, who has always been more consistently into poetry (this book was even a gift from her, about nine years ago). In lockdown, she’s kept telling me about all the lovely poems she’s read, inspiring me to — very belatedly — pick this up.

As the title suggests, it’s all about change, written after Shapcott treated for cancer. It’s a sad, funny, poignant mix. What I really love is the tangible quality to the images she creates, particularly how she blurs the human and natural worlds (“My fingerprint has dented / the whole hillside so the stream / will never fun the same course again”). I’m looking forward to reading more Shapcott — and more poetry full stop — in 2021.

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