Poetry Pamphlet Reviews & Features

Run by HappenStance Press

2006 -  £3.99, self published

 

JUDGING BY THE ROUGH-CUT page edges and hand-finished cover illustration of a tree, this slight pamphlet—apparently self-published by its author (and not cheap at £3.99 for 28 pages)—is a labour of love. The content is very much as the title suggests, about nature and paganism, and footnotes credit several of the poems with having appeared in Moonstone magazine.

    There’s a lack of pretentiousness in the presentation and simple font; however, I was puzzled by Maudlin’s inconsistency in the use of italics, or not, in the titles and poems. Also, closer proof reading might have picked up some of the spelling and grammatical mistakes, as in “ancient stones creates” in the acrostic which is the final untitled poem of the collection, and “despite the nawing (sic) of pain” in ‘The Death of a Witch’

          The poems collected here are uncomplicated free verse, and I felt some of them might have been improved by being edited down. For me, the last four lines of ‘Sometimes People Can Feel their Spirit’ add nothing. However, some of Maudlin’s images have a freshness, as in the dreams which “fizz up like fireworks” in ‘Staring Out into the Darkness’; and I’m always a sucker for attempts to summon up the sensation of hot paving slabs on bare feet, and so I like when, in ‘Such Moments’—  

watering plants in terracotta pots,

the warmness of the concrete curls her toes

 

Eleanor Livingstone

 

The Common Reader says of A Touch of Pagan:

I couldn’t quite understand the cellophane wrapping considering the pamphlet itself didn’t look particularly well-produced: oddly placed stapling and pages not quite even. However, I forgot all about my petty observations of the presentation when I began to read. The warmth of ‘Such Moments’ reminded me of summer days: 

          Walking barefoot in the yard

          watering plants in terracotta pots,

the warmness of the concrete curls her toes

a gentle breeze moves her hair…

 Wonderfully relaxing words end this lovely poem and the last words in the pamphlet (“Nature is the most precious gift of all”) seem to fit perfectly with Maudlin’s view of the world