The word ‘fool’ derives from the Latin follis, one of whose meanings is ‘empty-headed person’. Such mindlessness is not quite imaginable, but perhaps it is possible that by unknowing a thing we can start to see it differently. There’s a lot the fool doesn’t know – otherwise they wouldn’t be a fool – but can anyone be trusted to know anything?
A low-level hum of discordance runs through these poems: between inner and outer worlds, between the sceptical and the wondering mind. Ideas of belief and truth play out in various ways, often through lone figures, fools maybe, thinking aloud, continually distracted by the necessary performance of being.
Already an established and respected name in the world of poetry and drama, Fool is Greta Stoddart’s fourth collection. Her third collection Alive Alive O was published by Bloodaxe in 2015.
"Greta Stoddart sets transience against endurance: the certainty of human mortality against the mysteries of forbearance." - David Harsent, T.S. Eliot Prizewinner
‘What is knowable, and how things are known, are themes of the collection. The Fool, a figure whose consciousness it often explores, may see more clearly through a gaze uncluttered by received ideas.’ – Carol Rumens, The Guardian, Poem of the Week
‘Greta Stoddart’s fourth collection Fool looks at ways in which, left to ourselves, we look for truth and meaning, how we inhabit various states of being and how it is we can know so much and so little at the same time.’ – Carol Rumens, The Poetry Review