The poems in Clare Pollard’s new collection Incarnation are about our children and the stories that we tell them. Whether looking at the discourse around pregnancy, describing the pain of childbirth or thinking about surveillance at soft play, they blur the personal and political. Pinocchio, Hamelin, Alice and The Tiger who Came to Tea make appearances alongside biblical tales: the ark, the whale’s belly, the Moses basket in the rushes.
There are poems for lost daughters – Amy Winehouse, Madeleine McCann, the victims of honour killings – and lost sons. There are also poems about innocence and responsibility which ask what it means to bring new human beings into this world, and how we shape them through our words.