In Under-hedge Dapple, Janet Philo takes us around the UK and further out into the world through poems carefully crafted around myth, art, and nature.
“Like genius and madness, there’s a fine line between whimsy and wonder. Janet walks that line effortlessly, serving, at times, an unadulterated sweetness that would be twee in the wrong hands. There’s a strong sense of the mythic running through this collection, even when describing the, sometimes, harsh beauty of the North East coast, a place she’s obviously connected with. If you like your poems to be joyous, lacking in bland sarcasm and able to evoke joy, and a real sense of wonder and place, then this is for you.”
— p.a. morbid, Editor of The Black Light Engine Room lit mag
“These poems seem to come from a faerie realm – not the spun-sugar world
of bubblegum-pink Disney fairies, but the thorny, mysterious and
dangerously enchanting world of the Old Folk. They are shot through with
tangible images of nature from the tiniest thyme flower to the Arctic ice
sheets, and everywhere they are as richly colourful as cathedral windows.
A real sensual pleasure.”
— Kirsten Luckins, Programme Coordinator for Apples and Snakes (North)
“One thing that has always stood out for me with regard to Janet’s work is her joyous love of imagery, and this shines through in her first (and well deserved) pamphlet. From first sight of the contents page, I knew I was in for a poetic treat. Her poems are full of gorgeous alliteration and sibilance, singing in wonderful wordplay. It has been a pleasure to see Janet grow in confidence and develop her gorgeous talent. Under-hedge Dapple will leave you basking in a world of dream-like, mystical magic.”
— Jane Burn, Founder of The Fat Damsel, poet & illustrator.
Falling into Green
Another me fell,
out of control,
into briars and blood
and blackberry stains,
printing red nettle weals
onto floral chintz skin
in patterns of pain.
Another me fell
under cool bracken curls
to the earth-scented world
of autumn-crunch cushions
as rioting rainbows
dissolved into green.
Another me fell,
like raindrops on garlic;
I touched the white,
I tasted the green.
Rising again with the sun
and the warming
freshly soaked oxygen
kisses the skin.
Another me falls
into green dreams
on a sprung bed of thyme
with a camomile cushion
cradled in green.
Under-hedge Dapple is available to buy here.
Janet Philo is an adopted Northerner, originally from the Midlands, but lived in London long enough to love the space in Redcar’s sky.
She was first published in Fulcrum magazine (2014) and first performed at Elektric Kool-Aid Cabaret with Creative Fires: Writing from Art group. Performances with Tees Women Poets include ‘Women without Secrets’ at mima.
More recently her work has appeared in Black Light Engine Room Literary Magazine: Issue 13 (summer 2015) and online at https://thefatdamsel.wordpress.com: Take 10 (issue 8 ) and in Issue 6 of ‘Poems to Survive in’