This is a wonderful book! Tracey Herd writes with such great passion but it is all tightly controlled within her poetry. She uses words beautifully, understanding rhyme and rhythm and the way words sound together. Her starting point for the poems in this collection are often tragic red headed women from history though there are also poems about her father and about horses. Her poetry often includes wonderful images, like this from the series Leaving the Enchanted City:
The evening light is cognac,
restful in its black glass.
The city is a gold scrolled tray
piled with lights and lifted smoothly,
shoulder high, by a silent
white gloved waiter.
She does heartbreak beautifully too, where the raw emotion is finely balanced and held in her well crafted words, as here in The Shy Stranger:
She is carrying her body
to the Cascades
where it is lonely and cold,
where winter will shake
its bewildered head
over the ruins of her skull.
This is poetry at its best, powerful, passionate and well crafted. You can read some of her poems here or better go along to your nearest bookshop and buy a copy of Dead Redhead!