It’s the summer break and my long stay in Greece to blame that I haven’t found time to write a few words here on my blog about my latest book of poetry Losing Touch, published by Phoenicia Publishing this summer. The book is illustrated with twelve beautiful ink drawings by my publisher and dear friend, Elizabeth Adams, most of which were done during the same period I was writing the poems.
Losing Touch is a series of ten-line poems, written between March 2020 and the end of February 2021. From my introduction in the book about the time I was writing these poems :
“Vague and opaque was the time when I began writing these poems in March 2020. A wave was in sight, a wave of disease none of us had seen or experienced before. It had rolled over other countries, but in denial and against all reason, we had hoped that it would not have the same impact on us it had had on others. Once in its mercy in February 2020, and watching the news from northern Italy, most of us were speechless and at a loss.
It took me some time to be able to put into words what I felt, saw, or imagined. Most often, words arose from the natural world around, or not so far from, my house. When I was finally able to visit my family in Greece for a few weeks, in the relatively less-tense summer, one can taste in the poems my relief and need for a break from grief.
The poems are ten-liners in a form invented by the poet George Szirtes: three stanzas in a kind of a haiku form, 5-7-5 syllables, and a last line of five syllables standing alone. Something in this form fitted the succession of waves, something in the orphan last line fitted the loneliness and distance we all felt.
As I am writing these words the pandemic is still not over and, in Germany, where I live, or in other countries like India, the third wave is at its peak, so it is maybe a bit inaccurate writing any sentence in a past tense about the year these poems were written. It is also not to expect that the pandemic will end on a certain predictable date in the future, at least not for all people, or for all countries at the same time.”
“These brief apparently simple poems are beautifully clear distillations of the sense of obligatory isolation in its various aspects. Between dream and nightmare they provide a tiny crystalline stage across which ghosts of the moment may pass and converse.“
George Szirtes, poet and translator, author of many books including Fresh Out of the Sky (Bloodaxe, 2021); winner of the T.S. Eliot prize for Reel
“Through words, Magda Kapa has been carving a space where we all can sit and mourn those who were lost and the things that won’t return, yet she also prepared a space to fill again with love and light, like a far cry of a blackbird in the night, announcing an unexpected arrival, and ‘happiness/for every sound’.“
Mariadonata Villa, poet and translator, author of Verso Fogland (Minerva, 2020) and L’assedio (Raffaelli, 2012)
The book is available to order directly from the publisher but also from Amazon. Beth and I are also planning an online reading this autumn which we will certainly announce on our social media channels.