She Will Soar


‘I am of the wind…./ A wisp of the battering wind…// I trail my fingers along the Alps/ And an Avalanche falls in my wake…’ from Lola Ridge’s The Destroyer, selected by Ana Sampson for her collection, She Will Soar. This poem features in the section, Taking Flight, one of eleven in this poetry title.

Others include Flights of Fancy, Courage, Hope and ResilienceTravels Toward Tranquility and The Final Frontier. Within Feeling Free, we’ve Ourstory by Carole Satyamurti, wherein she considers- ‘Let us now praise women with feet glass slippers wouldn’t fit//not the patient, nor even the embittered ones who kept their place//but awkward women, tenacious with truth,/ whose elbows disposed of the impossible…

She Will Soar is gathered for these women, but any other, from the oppressed, the hopeless, the courageous, the dreamers, the forgotten. What’s more, the selection of poets is from throughout history and around the globe.

As ever, I sought a New Zealand poet, and was delighted to discover Fleur Adcock’s Londoner, in the section Feeling Free. It’s a poem I recited to my silent self when I was newly emigrated, ‘- and I’m shopping in East Finchley High Road/ in a cotton skirt, a cardigan, jandals-/ or flip-flops as people call them here’. 

She Will Soar is a generous, urgent, noisy and wonderful collection of poems. Bookwagon recommends it as a book to read through, know, love, select from and gift too. We are proud to share it with our readers.

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She Will Soar

Bright, brave Poems of freedom by women

Ana Sampson

(Pan Macmillan)

She Will Soar is an offering to the schoolgirl self of Ana Sampson that has moved from being ‘a book about travel’ to a collection of poems about ‘escape and freedom‘. It seems to be an homage to women’s writers, whose work has been routinely ‘dismissed and undervalued‘.
Thereafter, we step into poetry arranged through themes from Wanderlust to the Feeling of Freedom. There’s Growing Up, Travels Over Land and Courage, Hope and Resilience, amongst these collations.
Therefore, in the first instance, for example, we enjoy Instructions from Kate Wakeling, of Cloud Soup. Herein, she advises, ‘Instructions, aren’t here to help you/ They want to help someone or something else’. However, within the selection of Voyages by Verse, we meet poets who are unlikely to have taken up instructions. For example, a translation from Yü Hsüan-chi, wonders at the cacophony  of ‘Staying in the Mountains in Summer’. She sings ‘in the moonlight and ride[s] a painted boat/ Trusting the wind to blow [her] home again‘. Meanwhile, May Swenson’s The Centaur is a poignant memory of the summer she was ten – ‘Can it be there was only one/ summer when I was ten? It must// have been a long one then-‘ as she recalls Rob Roy, The Centaur she created with her brother’s jack knife. This section, a faiourite with this reader is Flights of Fancy.
Somehow, there is something scorchingly raw and tiptoe tender in the poems in this collection. Bookwagon loves She Will Soar and recommends it as a book to read through, know and turn to, alongside being a thoughtful choice to gift.


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