Faces of Memory
Written by George Hobson
Published by Olympia Publishers
28/09/2017 - £6.99 – Paperback
Read together, the three long poems in this book constitute a kind of epic. In the manner of a cubist painting, they present, through the medium of memory, the complex portrait of a man, the poet. The poems are dramatic narratives, each providing a distinctive perspective on, and poetic use of, memory. The poet is a Christian, and the poems, which range across relationships and places he has known, evoke a life lived in faith and hope. The Bells of Swettl uses the framework of the monastic offices to dramatize and universalize the movement of a life through time; The Psaltery is a meditation, studded with stories, on life's meaning in the face of passing time and death; and, in fifteen poems, The Trinity Suites evokes an array of characters and remembered experiences that explore, in a harsh world, the possibility of love and redemption. Themes such as the relationship of son to father and mother, the love of husband and wife, the tension between city and wilderness, the sorrow of loss, the horror of violence, weave through the poems. Throughout, differently in each poem, memory is deployed as the vehicle to structure the past and intimate a possible future, thus giving order and shape to human life.
George Hobson is a priest in the Episcopal/Anglican Church. He has lived in France for over half his life, working with both French and English-speaking churches. He studied theology at Oxford in the 1980s and earned his doctorate in 1989. With his wife, Victoria, he has travelled extensively in developing countries, teaching courses in theological colleges. He has published two books of poetry in England: Rumours of Hope, with Piquant Editions, and a collective volume, Forgotten Genocides of the 20th Century, with Garod Books. His poem "Sun-Patch" won Second Prize in the International Bridport Poetry Competition in 1995.
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