Geraldine Mitchell

Mute/Unmute

ISBN: 9781851322466

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Geraldine Mitchell is a poet for whom the alchemical possibilities of language are paramount. In her fourth collection, Mute/Unmute, she has moved away from the more personal territory of earlier work to engage with a planet which is ‘out of kilter’, both by its very nature and as a consequence of our relentless neglect and greed. Mitchell does not allow us to forget that we are ‘mortal on a mortal planet’. We are also reminded that without compassion and empathy, without preserving and honouring the memory of those who have gone before, our lives become empty and meaningless. Mitchell intersperses two sequences of poems, both bearing the title ‘Pour Out the Dark’, with a central section conjuring the life of a great-aunt who took her life almost a hundred years ago. By inviting us to imagine the life of a troubled individual, our responses to the poems in the first and third sections of this richly crafted collection are thrown into relief. In ways which are never didactic, through image, rhythm and sound, Mitchell leads us to see that a dark future is not inevitable and that, with due attention to the individual and to human suffering, by combating injustice, we can, and must, let in the light.