Nominy-Dominy by Lesley Saunders
Nominy-Dominy, Lesley Saunders’ fourth collection with Two Rivers Press, is an extended praise-song for the Greek and Latin literature she grew up with as a schoolgirl.
These poems respond, in oblique and glancing ways, to the riches of these two cultures: brief glimpses into the dream-world of the Iliad and Odyssey, vignettes of an estranged
Roman Britain, and windows onto the mediaeval Latin lyric.
Three long poems – contemplating ‘The Uses of Greek’, imagining the poet Sappho living out her life on the island of Inishbofin, and celebrating ‘The Farness of Latin’ – mark transitions between thematic clusters of shorter pieces. Nominy-Dominy, with its vivid enactment of how, and why, antiquity continues to shape us, will confirm what Michael Hulse, writing in The Poetry Review of her 2012 Cloud Camera, found to be a ‘most intelligent and thrilling book of poetry’.
‘When I say this book is exactly my cup of tea it’s not just because Lesley Saunders and I share a classical background; anyone who loves language would respond to her lush, abundant vocabulary and her evocation of the haunted, mysterious, magical worlds these poems inhabit, from the unimaginably archaic age before Homer to the various afterlives of Latin right into the present era and to Sappho on Inishbofin consorting with Irish poets of today’—Fleur Adcock