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Review: Enchantment by David Morley

Enchantment spins tales similar to Aesops Fables or the camp fire shadows of myths and legends. Beginning slowly, the collection focuses the readers attention on the finer details of the natural landscape; from Fresh Water in Oxford, Dragonflies ‘Here be Darters, Skimmers, drawn flame. Here, are Dragonflies’ a deconstruction of their wider context, the ancestry that is attached to the imagery.        Morley follows the thread right from the beginning of the oral poetic tradition and blends this use of language with the printed page, in a way that is equally as fascinating read aloud as it is read. He moves through the language, blending the imagery of the natural world with personification to further blur the line between the true reality of nature and human interaction. In The Lucy Poem ‘ She can sense as much water/ in her breasts as in the earth’ an image that links the human body to a body of water but at once distances them from each other.

     In the second section begins with Hedgehurst, where Morley takes the story of Hedgehurt from Duncan Williamson’s Fireside Tales of the Traveller Children and develops it in his own style. He follows Hedgehurst, decoding his character and using Williamson’s context to move into his next ‘voice’. Through the intricate graphology at the end of Hedgehurst, it runs us through companions of the natural world and their companions, mimicking the companionship in humans.We see Morley’s next step into the storytelling tradition, following the Romany traditions and stories. In Romany Sarah we begin with ‘air for oars’ calling upon the phonetic link to blend man made tools with the natural landscape.       After this Morley moves fully into the Romany community, Nightingales links with his beautiful poetic imagery of the beginning.  Taking the reader finally on a journey through the circus, but again focusing the reader on one element of it. This series is intriguingly linked together by connecting language; at the end of Mashkár the Magician ‘I am talking to the space where their eyes will tear into time’ and the beginning of Saydimé the Strongman ‘Tear into time?’ This brings the reader full circle, linking the characters of the circus together into a bigger collective that moves the readers attention also from the Dragonfly of the initial poems and linking through to a vision of the world as a whole.      Mythology, pulling together the natural world and humanity to a cohesive whole.

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