Green City – Thumprint pocket book no.4
Sue MacIntyre’s Green City began life as a random collection of note-like poems about small moments of intensity in the poet’s daily life in London. Starting with an epigraph from US poet Mark Doty “What was our city but wonderful detail?”, this hypnotic poem travels the capital picking out its own details in a quiet love song to the city. From the ‘shining ribbon of song’ of an urban robin to the messages written in Polish on a lamppost memorial, the lighted candles of a wayside shrine to Amy Winehouse, the ‘stickiness on roofs and cars, black gritty gum on pavements, Green City is a poem that, in the words of Keats, invites us to take “part in its existence and pick about the gravel”.
What people have been saying
Sue MacIntyre’s London is all in the detail. It’s a place that can provide ‘the space, the nothingness I need’, a place where she is ‘eye to eye with strangeness’, where:
Swifts whistle in distant playgrounds
and in green sky catch flies at dusk.
But it is not a matter of contrasting ‘urban’ and ‘natural’, there’s nothing melodramatic about it. The two exist side by side, ‘the balm of lime scent / at night above broken bottles and asphalt.’ There’s an exactness of description that contrives to be calmly matter-of-fact while at times being highly enigmatic. – John Welch