Exhile and the Kingdom by Hilary Davies
In her fourth collection, Exile and the Kingdom, Hilary Davies embarks on pilgrimage – poetic, religious, psychological. Using a dazzling interplay of narrative and lyric line, she travels through real and imagined territory in search of answers to the great questions which preoccupy us as human beings. In ‘Rhine Fugue’ the poet follows the river that both unites and divides Europe, conjuring an impressive sweep of history that includes the Wars of Religion, the Jewish tradition, the upheavals of the twentieth century, the hope for peace. Two lyric sequences evoke the spirit of the Lea Valley in London, where Hilary Davies lives, and the spirit of her late husband, the poet Sebastian Barker, while ‘Across Country’ and ‘Exile and the Kingdom’ chart the journey of the individual soul through darkness and confusion to a hard-won and complex faith.