Count the Ways: Finola Scott, Dreich

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Finola Scott’s poems develop the idea of what it is like to experience the world through the senses and profoundly felt sensations. A sense of hope and optimism that arises from people meeting each other at certain times during the pandemic when the cases decrease or after the Covid rules are eased pervades her lines. According to Scott, there are many important types of love that we should celebrate, as expressed in the title, and sometimes romantic love is the most unreliable. However, there is joy in meeting again, having sex, loving again. Renewed relationships give people confidence and suggest positive encounters:


     Snuggled, I’m anchored.

     Your sea serpent arms hold me,

     your rock solid body sleeps on

     my bed a harbour.

     Tethered in your salty limbs

     I ride out every storm.

                    (‘The Selkie’s Song’)


Sex becomes important in the resumed ritual of touching and feeling each other, which make us human:


     But ye’re a mixture maxtur

     o treats. Ye cuddle an coorie me aw.

     Wi ye, ma breests are ma ain.



The body becomes central and merges with the mind in a search for a celebration of life despite the menace of the pandemic. Women seem to be the most often described figures that mediate between the body and the soul, between the disruption of the virus and everyday normality:


     … we women break bread,

     feel the warm South dissolve our cares.

     We find our voices in each other,

     spill truths of love, hopes and regrets.

                                         (‘Still Breakfast’)


The conclusions are reassuring but also open to expectations. There is a sense of lingering and awaiting in the last lines of the final poem: “Deep in my hert/time stauns still.”

Experimenting and being open to life are the core strengths of the message of Scott’s poetry. Her fascinating lines keep surprising the reader and reveal an open and optimistic view of being human.


Finola Scott, Count the Ways, Dreich, £5




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