Tongues of Fire by Seán Hewitt

Tongues of Fire a collection of poetry that focuses on viewing life through nature, on physicality and reality but also the sacred and untouchable, and on grief, loss, and illness. The poems are mostly short lyric poems, weaving together ideas of nature, belief, and personal connection. What is particularly vivid as you read the collection is the ways in which the natural world is returned to, and offers an escape from the world, and how the poems show this through moments and details of plants and settings as ways of encapsulating feelings, from sex and desire to sadness and grief. This felt particularly notable in poems like ‘Adoration’, which moves from a nature walk to a Berlin club and back again, and it really gives a sense of how the personal can also be part of something much larger about life and earth.

These poems feel like an escape into the tiny details of outside, a kind of mechanism of looking for the natural and the meaning when things seem random or difficult. This was a great collection to sit down with and become immersed in the senses and physicality, but also the emotions of the poems.