Like a Tree, Walking
by Vahni Capildeo
Carcinet Press Ltd., 2021
Longlisted for the 2022 Jhalak Prize
The Poetry Book Society Winter Choice 2021
Vahni Capildeo's Like a Tree, Walking is a fresh departure, even for this famously innovative poet. Taking its title from a story of sight miraculously regained, this book draws on Capildeo's interest in ecopoetics and silence. Many pieces originate in specific places, from nocturnes and lullabies in hilly Port of Spain to 'stillness exercises' recording microenvironments - emotional and aural - around English trees.
These journeys offer a configuration of the political that makes a space for new kinds of address, declaration and relation. Capildeo takes guidance from vernacular traditions of sensitivity ranging from Thomas A Clark and Iain Crichton Smith to the participants in a Leeds libraries project on the Windrush. Like a Tree, Walking is finally a book defined by how it writes love.