This Tilting Earth by Jane Lovell - Review.
Jane Lovell is a prolific, award-winning writer who, rightly so, was the winner of the Mslexia Poetry Pamphlet competition in 2018. This Tilting Earth allows the reader to immerse themselves within a wild world of nature and history, consistently depicted in Lovell’s striking voice. From ‘charcoal and cinnamon ochre’ in Limousin, Lascaux to a ‘fleet of sightless sea cows’ in Galápagos, you lose yourself amongst this otherworldly realm of the elements, anthropology and the cycles of life. What I particularly like is the frequent references to bones and salt, ‘he is listening to the voice of the salt, the tinkering of the sea as it abandons its minerals at his feet’, highlighting the rawness of human life and also the close connection we have to nature. In this collection, Lovell cleverly not only presents this connection, but also shows the alternating power balance between human life and nature. In Leaving Hirta we are ‘drawn to roar of sea and shingle’, presenting the shear power and pull of the earth, whilst in Portraits, Samoa 1853 we see how ‘great nets blow with the day’s catch; lupe, knots of finch, the last few still fluttering’ represent the damaging effect of humans coexisting with nature. Lovell’s use of language is simply beautiful, wonderfully disturbing and captivating. Anyone reading this is sure to close their eyes and find themselves on a beach, aware of the fragility and transience of the human body, losing themselves to the howl of the sea.