The poems of Naomi Edwards are rooted in an awareness of loss and experience of a tenderness that has persevered. The images emerge with a pared down texture and rhythmic scaffolding, thoughtful but without fuss, like the loosely bound threads of a cloth laid over a frame. They are material traces of a steady memory, grief, kinship, astonished candor–all held in view by a subtle fierce acceptance. She is committed to the world she speaks of, no matter what happens.
Her poems occur somewhere but it is a place intensified by the distillation of long witness. It is a dark place lifted briefly into light. The poems occur, but they slough off narrative explanation. They acknowledge the weather. They occur with us, rather than to us. There is an eerie, necessary quality of still action in Edwards’ work, like someone watching themselves draw blood from their own arm.
We emerge from reading them as from an honest conversation: challenged into knowing what we know, feeling what we feel, seeing what we see, and being where we are. We are reminded, in fact, that there is no other way to live.