Lifting The Sky

Ward Wood Publishing, 2018
ISBN 978-1-908742-68-1

Description

Myra Schneider’s tenth collection, Lifting The Sky, explores the theme of survival in many contexts: from the perils facing refugees and survivors of war to the detailed and tender mating ritual of endangered seahorses.

Threats to the environment are balanced by the preservation of delicate objects in ancient burial sites such as Sutton Hoo which is also a meditation about death.

The final narrative sequence ‘Edge’ is a tour de force, presenting a diary of artistic and emotional breakdown due to depression followed by healing and restored creativity.

Videos

Myra Schneider reads Lifting the Sky at the book launch in the Poetry Society’s Poetry Cafe, London, November 2018.

Reviews

“Poetry readers can pick up a new collection from Myra Schneider with absolute confidence that there is quality within. Penelope Shuttle comments in Artemis poetry, that ‘This poet enters the daunting yet essential regions where we face ordeals and seek understanding in and out of the toughest places in the world, both private and public.’ Schneider’s tenth full collection amply fulfils this expectation…

This is a big collection, coming well into an impressive poetry career, with so much to admire. Rich imagery, a restless search for meaning, a sense of finding hope in nature, serenity in qigong, all play a role as Myra Schneider lifts the sky on humanity again.”
Wendy Klein, The London Grip (read the full review here)

“I love the tremendous flexibility of the poems – emotional, imaginative, reflective and the way they move from small details to the wider concepts, the sense of home and ‘being at home’ or otherwise, and the sense of beyond. I love the way I can almost physically enter your kitchen to be taken on an inner journey. There are lots of surprises – the delightful poem Seahorses, for instance, and It Was, and the very dynamic syncopation in the long poem. This book is surely your most ambitious, and that’s saying a lot!”
Moniza Alvi

“So many inspiring poems full of sensuous detail (and vibrant colour!), reflection and feeling. These qualities intertwine with an honesty, humanity and courage in a way that makes your poems unique. I love The Pear Tree which is so alive and beautiful, Sutton Hoo is amazing. Other favourites are KitchenWindows and The Stone, and of course the delightful Seahorses.”
Jane Duran

“I have read both your books with great pleasure. The balance you get in so many of the poems is wonderful, always a look at both sides of experience, the going down and the coming up. I find the poems so true to how the mind works – and it’s deeply reassuring that the poems keep coming up on the right side.”
Mark Roper

Myra Schneider reads Seahorses at the book launch in the Poetry Society’s Poetry Cafe, London, November 2018.

Excerpt

LIFTING THE SKY

Plant yourself in the quiet on a familiar floor
or on an uncut summer lawn

and, thinking of seabirds, stretch out your arms,
let them ascend through the unresisting air.

With palms facing upwards, travel your hands
till your fingertips almost meet,

then release your breath, begin to separate yourself
from the weight of all that lies on you.

Allow your mind to open to this moment and your arms
to rise as they lift the palpable blue

high above the crown of your head.
Your wings will fold away

but raise them slowly to the blue again, maybe
a lightness like liquid amber will flow through you.

Myra Schneider

Lifting the Sky: an exercise in qigong the Chinese practice of breathing, movement and meditation.

Reviews

“Poetry readers can pick up a new collection from Myra Schneider with absolute confidence that there is quality within. Penelope Shuttle comments in ARtemis poetry, that ‘This poet enters the daunting yet essential regions where we face ordeals and seek understanding in and out of the toughest places in the world, both private and public.’ Schneider’s tenth full collection amply fulfils this expectation…

This is a big collection, coming well into an impressive poetry career, with so much to admire. Rich imagery, a restless search for meaning, a sense of finding hope in nature, serenity in qigong, all play a role as Myra Schneider lifts the sky on humanity again.”

Wendy Klein,  The London Grip

Link to the whole review: https://londongrip.co.uk/2018/11/london-grip-poetry-review-myra-schneider/

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