Salmacis: Becoming Not Quite a Woman by Elizabeth Train-Brown
As recounted by the Roman poet Ovid, a young nymph, Salmacis, one day spied Hermaphroditus bathing; consumed with passion, she entered the water and, begging the gods to allow them to stay together, the two became one – part man, part woman. An Eclectic Pagan, for Elizabeth Ovid’s fables are more than fiction, and form a framework for exploring identity. Drawing on the rich mythological history associated with the tale of Salmacis and Hermaphroditus, and re-examining the tale through the lens of metaphor, Salmacis: Becoming Not Quite a Woman is a stirringly relatable and powerful exploration of gender, love and identity. this is my lake salmacis, and i am the wild nymph with a hollow in her belly and nothing between her legs
My love of poetry goes back to when I was very young, and I would in the library surrounded by poetry books. Where I got this from remains a mystery. From the classics to something more modern and just recently arrived is Salmacis: Becoming Not Quite a Woman (Renard Press). The debut poetry collection by Elizabeth Train-Brown. A dazzling new writer of poetry and this is her debut collection. The first thing that strikes you is the origami Swan on the cover, then you realise there are no capitals used on the cover. Step inside and this is exactly how it is through this small but outstanding collection.
It is pretty evident that Elizabeth Train-Brown has just let her imagination and pen run with words as she explores all things gender but your own identity. She holds nothing back in her poetry it is tantalising and unique. I just really enjoyed the way she plays with her words exploring her very being.
Ask me to choose one of the poems and I would have to say it would be ‘we all watch the same gods’ on page 45. I will let you read the poem for yourself and take in the words.
What I enjoy about poetry is that it can make you think about what you have read after you have finished reading and discuss the meanings of what the poetry is trying to tell us. Here in Salmacis, Elizabeth Train-Brown is doing just that, she wants us to think about just who we are. I am already looking forward to what comes next.
My thanks to Renard Press for the review Copy of Salmacis: Becoming Not Quite a Woman by Elizabeth Train-Brown Published on 31 August 2022 and is now available through Waterstones, Amazon and through your local independent bookshop or through Bookshop.org that supports your local independent bookshop. UK Bookshop.org