Monday 15 February 2021

Review by Rosalind Adam of "Blood and Water" by Rebecca Lowe

It was Rebecca Lowe’s use of imagery in her poem ‘Snowman’ that first attracted me to this collection. I knew I had to read more of her work and I was not disappointed. 

Blood and Water is a collection of thirty-eight poems that took me on a dizzying journey through the love, pain and anguish of a lifetime. In ‘First Kick’ I felt the unborn baby whose move was no more than ‘a whisper of assent.’ In ‘Signature’ I watched the young girl still ‘a sketch half drawn’ and I empathised with the poet’s desire to keep her ‘in serene suspension between child and woman.’ Lowe explores the pains of adulthood with reality that ‘cuts deeper than the sharpest blade.’ In ‘Holy Ground’ I was hanging on ‘a tangle of strings,’ daring to look up into ‘the face of the Puppeteer glowering down,’ while in ‘Ego’ I became transfixed by the gift of a balloon ‘filled with my own breath,’ a balloon that becomes ‘warped and puckered’ evoking the emotions of a ‘gentle, creeping death.’

Lowe talks of the terrors of the climate emergency in her award-winning poem ‘Tick tick tick,’ and in ‘Last Will and Testament’ she declares a bequest to all poets. She bequeaths her skin ‘to try on, whenever you tire of being yourself’ but it comes with a warning to be gentle because ‘it is not as thick as you think.’ Rebecca Lowe will not need a thick skin to read this review because I am highly recommending her collection, Blood and Water

About the reviewer
Rosalind Adam’s poetry has been published online and in anthologies. In 2018 she won the G. S. Fraser poetry prize for ‘Fresh Canvas’ and, in the same year, was awarded a distinction for her MA in Creative Writing at The University of Leicester. She is the author of The Children’s Book of Richard III and blogs at

You can read more about Rebecca Lowe's collection, as well as sample poems from it, on Creative Writing at Leicester here

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