Shortlisted for the Derek Walcott Prize for Poetry 2022
Carola Luther's new book On the Way to Jerusalem Farm explores the complexities of living in a damaged world. How, it asks, does such a world live in us, and we in it?
At the centre of the collection are three sequences, 'Letters to Rasool', 'Birthday at Emily Court' and 'The Escape'. On the Way to Jerusalem Farm moves through the world, seeking and finding not answers, but sometimes, a means of continuing. The speaker in 'Letters to Rasool' travels onward through scarred and depleted landscapes, and searches for a lost beloved. The ageing residents of Emily Court celebrate a birthday and dance. Spring of a kind still comes. And in 'The Escape' there are colours to be found in the distant sea: 'A whole translucent geology, / cross-sections of light and water'.
Poetry for Luther is a way of finding a way, of making connections and sharing our complex lives in an interdependent present. The roles of lover and beloved become – almost – interchangeable in these richly visualised poems.