Setting out from the South Downs, The Ship’s Eye invites us to a reverential pause with its compact language and imagistic force. These poems chart a path through the elusive forests of memory, like the faun which in the opening piece “hovers in the arch of trees” before darting into the undergrowth. This publication locates acute, original translations from The Odyssey alongside works of personal memory. The links between these disparate fields are forged with an aesthetic awareness which is classicist in the finest sense of the word: out of near silence, fugitive details resolve into emotional archetypes whose place is both within and beyond the limitations of everyday time. In this way we rediscover the fleeting movements and transactions which make up daily life, from the beggar found out as a returning hero, to the “rhythmic click” of knitting needles which sum up a child’s relationship to her parents.
Praise for The Ship’s Eye:
“The Ship’s Eye is the most accomplished first collection I’ve ever read. Judith Cair’s poems are haunting and original. Cair is a rare phenomenon – a woman who’s spent years perfecting her craft before publishing. The Ship’s Eye is more than enough reward – Cair doesn’t flaunt her skill, but her knowledge of the craft informs every flawless line, every exact image, so that she delivers poems that speak direct to the heart, time after time. Her poems sit with the best.”—Jackie Wills