"That week a tree surgeon warned
the roots threatened our foundations;
it needed felling immediately.
My sky was about to fall. (“The Tree Surgeon Warned”)"
Some of the most intense poems in the book tackle the co-mingling of love and loss, as in “Slivers,” which charts a man’s visit to his unconscious partner - the moment of memory poignant as you feel both the woman's absence, and the memory of pleasure once shared:
"Slivers of time melt on his tongue,
taste buds unearth memories
buried like fossils between thin strata."
Other poems are humorous in a way that is rarely found in poetry, such “Missing Mantra,” which pokes fun at social networking, even as it retains a beautiful, poetic sensibility:
"while my husband sits up in the dark
polishing his grit of wisdom
in the hope he'll create a pearl."
Sarah James’s first collection is wonderfully mature and ambitious, charting a line across the moments in our shared lives that characterise and change us. No words are wasted as she brings us something as familiar as a dandelion and uses it to remind us of our own ephemerality and the joy and pain that will surely accompany the next image. The lightness and pleasure of Into the Yell with its evocative and funny illustrations of Russian dolls, belies the wisdom and depths of its words.