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photo of cover of Greeks Bearing Gifts showing white butterflies on a leaf

Published 2023 by Keith Sturgess

Sold by Mica Press in the U.K. under licence.

Greeks Bearing Gifts
by Margaret Eddershaw

104 pp. Paperback. ISBN 978-618-00-4230-6.
£15.00

2/3rds of sales revenue from this book will be given to the UK Charity The Friends of Ibba Girls' School, South Sudan'

Margaret Eddershaw's alert senses resonate to the chords of Hellenic life and legend. Sensuous lines of poetry record daily life and marry it at times with myythology. She can also serve it straight, as in a vivid narrative sonnet:'

The Catch
'A small crowd gathers raucous as gulls...
A catch for the whole town a man says...

salty hands hold the bounty for selfies,
We buy a fish, call friends to share it.'
In the evocative Winter Kafenion and Greek Serenade, I counted eleven or so night sounds, the colour black and the scent of jasmine. In Olive Harvest the scene is brought to life in words that do their work as urgently as the harvesters.

In Dying a Death, life and art cross paths in the theatre at Epidaurus. In Talk of Men, Mothers, Moussaka, the daily swim of bobbing grannies is affectionately pictured. In Souliots Dancing, Eddershaw examines a legend from the modern Greek past.

In other poems, bees hum, pink cyclamens burst through an earthen orchestra floor, Medusa speaks a sibilant soliloquy, and in Woman from Akrotiri the subject of a pre-classical Minoan painting tells her poignant story. Several poems are more purely personal and some, humorous

The presence in poetry of so much richness - animals, birds, human figures from life, history and mythology, sounds, smells, emotions, landscape and art - and the controlling intelligence in the shaping of each poem, gives a feeling of lightness and universality breaking through the mundane.

Never do I feel I am reading the words of a tourist. Margaret Eddershaw made her home in Greece over 20 years ago and pays tribute to the warmth and welcome of Greek people....

Les Bell
For history, biography and more poetry, see this publisher's other imprint, Campanula Books