Pilgrim's Flower

Rachael Boast

2014 Nominee

Griffin International Poetry Prize

24 October 2013
64 pages


Rachael Boast’s first collection, Sidereal, was one of the most highly regarded debuts of recent years, winning the Forward Prize for Best First Collection and the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry Prize. Her second, Pilgrim's Flower, richly confirms and dramatically extends that talent – but where Sidereal’s gaze was often firmly fixed on the heavens, Boast’s focus here has shifted earthward. The book sings life’s intoxicants – love, nature, literature, friendship, and other forms and methods of transcendence – and sees Boast’s pitch-perfect lyrical metaphysic challenge itself at every turn. Pilgrim's Flower gives an almost Rilkean attention to the spaces between things – the slippage between what we think we know, and what is actually there – and in doing so brings the language of rite, observance and rune to the details of our daily lives.
The metaphysical turn in recent poetry in the UK is emphasized in Rachael Boast's second collection, Pilgrim's Flower, which recognizes that there are certain states and perceptions that shape the weather of the spirit, which poetry seems uniquely qualified to render . . . you'll see something of the diversity and ambition that marks our younger poets.