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Saturday, October 5, 2019

UK Poet James Sale Reviews American Poets Latest Poetry Book

Chronicles in Passing
Author: Carol Smallwood
Paperback: 102 pages
Publisher: Poetic Matrix Press, 2019
ISBN-10: 1733702539
Available on Amazon

Reviewed by James Sale

Carol Smallwood’s latest collection is full of her wonderful inquisitive and challenging response to the world. I particularly like her strong sense of form, which is evident throughout the collection, especially her use of repetition in her Villanelles, which is masterful as each lines draws out more implications and meanings for the reader. She is what might be termed a space and time poet. In other words, she is sensuously aware of her immediate topical environment, whether that be the shops or stores open nearby; or the flowers that are growing in the woods. At the same time, she has a wonderful historical imagination as she peels back the layers of history to interrogate Herodotus, Homer and even Gilgamesh; and not just people—the artifacts (for example, the Pyramids) too. 

This gives her collection its enormous range and sweep in terms of forms, times and place. Alongside all of this are her formidable powers of observation, as she notes all that is particular in what she sees. We may remember Thomas Hardy’s famous line: ‘he was a man who used to notice such things’. Well, Carol is a woman who notices such things. From the quotidian to the sublime, there is something here for everyone to resonate with.


James Sale has had over 40 books published. His poems have appeared in many UK magazines as well as the United States media. He was the winner of The Society of Classical Poets Poetry prize for 2017, and winner of their Prose prize for 2018. Learn more at:

UK Poet James Sale Reviews American Poets Latest Poetry Book

UK Poet James Sale Reviews American Poets Latest Poetry Book


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