Fathom is a wee newly-published chapbook containing some of the poems I wrote while on my residency at Cape Cornwall in the winter of 2018. Aisling Tempany at Marble Poetry has made an interesting and varied selection that compresses my experience there into something almost crystalline. (In my opinion anyway.) You can get it here or from me (while I have some).
Rose Cook very kindly wrote: ‘Rebecca Gethin’s gift is particularly for passionate and accurate expression. She will immerse herself in her subject with particular intensity and take us with her. In Fathom Gethin turns her focus to the harsh landscape of the mines of West Penwith. On reading these poems I found myself sea-torn, pulled often into huge seas, fighting for breath in the teeth of wild winds that ripped at my eyes or half-smothered in a mine, my lungs filled with dust or thrust into small spaces where: ‘The space holds you/utters you/It’s only just enough/but it is enough/Anything more is waste.’
Here are poems which plunge you deep into the belly of tin mines, to explore ancient lodes of pain and grief. Below ground she shows us Botallackite, Devilline and Arsenic, the effects of which she explores in ‘House of Water’, a quietly powerful poem. This is beautifully realised poetry. I really recommend you read it.’
The fact is that I often felt words were inadequate so am amazed I got anything written at all:
When I show you the pictures of the place you will understand why I felt so tongue-tied.. and yet I did manage to write of the sea during Force 10-12 gales and of the mines that riddle the coast line and even run under the sea.
With thanks to Brisons Veor Charitable Trust for trusting me with time in their amazing house on Cape Cornwall.