Photograph from Salt by Lucinda Lloyd

Salt, a collection of poetry and photography by actor and writer Lucinda Lloyd, explores love and loss as well as innocence and experience. Published by A Little Bird Whispered – Lloyd’s own creation too – it is a collection put together with great care.

Poems such as ‘Naked’, ‘Milk’, ‘Quiet Time’ and ‘The Cage’ are terse and controlled. They are refreshing in their brevity, their economy of language.

‘The Weight of a Tear’, too, is excellent. Lloyd contemplates the coffin that will hold the body of her loved one. She writes about the “black dress” that will “contain your flesh”; the dress acting as a vessel for the body rather than merely clothing it. The collection is dedicated to Lloyd’s mother and this poem is certainly a fitting tribute.

However, not all of Lloyd’s poems work as well. ‘A Potent Sea’ is particularly overwrought, invoking “ancient echoes”, “azure air” and “tombs of majesty”. The imagery is overwhelming and, as a result, the poem loses power.

Lloyd’s poetry works best when it is confrontational and efficient. At other times it indulges in the language of the land and the elements, betraying her more honest poems. Her strengths lie less in describing nature than in portraying how we come to terms with tragedy.

Lloyd clearly has the ability to publish beautiful books, too. The physical quality of the collection is excellent, and includes some startling photography.

Salt is published by A Little Bird Whispered. RRP: £9.99. ISBN: 9780993070006

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