“Many people have experienced the wounds Ruth Sharman uncovers…”, wrote Julia Casterton of Birth of the Owl Butterflies (Picador), “but few have sung their wounds, vengefully, murderously, in such lovely music, with such a good ear and eye for when to strike the coup de grâce.”
Scarlet Tiger is Ruth Sharman’s second collection. Gentler, more elegiac than the first, it balances the forces of dark and light. Celebrating salt marshes, a millennial oak, wild orchids or a meteor shower, the poet explores themes of impermanence and loss, while butterflies and moths become the medium for “talking” to her dying father. These are intensely moving poems, full of deliberate echoes like notes in a piece of music: the tiger moth of the title flits in and out, jewel-bright, here one moment, gone the next.