From the moment Sudden Denouement Publishing announced the publication of Rachel Finch’s debut poetry collection, I could not wait to read it. Finch made a brave and bold entrance onto Blood into Ink, with ignition pieces like Girls are not for Beating (pg.35). I was hooked by her ability to sing fire with a bloody mouth.
A Sparrow Stirs its Wings houses this spirit of fight and flight. Flight not from fear but from the space she has shaped to soar. The structure of the collection reminds me of Alfa’s Silent Squall except Finch begins with the girl crossing her heart and hoping to die, walking on eggshells (pg.19), and ends as a woman who recognises strength and hope in her reflection:
‘I did not notice the growth, until I had grown,
I had not seen myself changing, becoming,
until the woman I forged reflected my gaze
and held my stare with no shame.’ – Hold the Stare
In fact, I would even say Finch’s sparrow does more than stir its wings – it unfurls them in the morning sun and defies the laws of gravity.
This debut collection is more than just honest, beautifully brutal storytelling. Finch has created a collection the reader will feel compelled to return to, time and time again. Moon Breathing makes me fall in love, Heal is the advice I need imprinted on my palm and Still Smouldering never fails to provoke a visceral reaction:
‘I was reborn a dragon feasting on the fire in my belly, lit with milk teeth in my mouth’
Finch’s voice has found a home, in these pages and in my chest. She touches her readers. She tells the truth and explores hers. She leaves you with the following words:
‘You are the smell of rain before it hits the soil.’
And you can’t help but believe them.