The brilliant second collection from Next Generation Poet, T.S. Eliot and Costa shortlisted poet, Helen Mort
* A Poetry Book Society Recommendation 2016*
'When we climb alone
en cordée feminine,
we are magicians of the Alps –
we make the routes we follow
The poems of Helen Mort's second collection offer an unforgettable perspective on the heights we scale and the distances we run, the routes we follow and the paths we make for ourselves.
Here are odes to the women who dared to break new ground – from Miss Jemima Morrell, a young Victorian woman from Yorkshire who hiked the Swiss Peaks in her skirts and petticoats, to the modern British mountaineer Alison Hargreaves, who died descending from the summit of K2.
Distinctive and courageous, these are poems of passion and precipices, of edges and extremes. No Map Could Show Them confirms Helen Mort’s position as one of the finest young poets at work today.
“A highly intelligent, yet very accessible collection and an interesting addition to the ongoing discussion of where our culture is with gender identity… There is something which feels very necessary about this collection and there are moments throughout where it feels like a worthy successor to The Feminine Gospels and The World’s Wife.”
“Wonderfully playful... In the crowded field of mountain literature, this precise, sparky and constantly surprising book more than holds its own.”
Roger Cox, Scotsman
“A perfect response to the chauvinism face by the earliest female mountaineers… This precise, sparky and constantly surprising book more than holds its own.”
Roger Cox, Yorkshire Post
“Superb young Sheffield poet.”
Horatia Harrod, Financial Times
“Mort’s assurance keeps us on edge, but trustful. One could say she doesn’t put a foot wrong. Her style is spare, showing bone without too much flesh… This is a strong, fierce collection.”
Peter Scupham, Literary Review
“An unforgettable perspective on the heights we scale…. Distinctive and courageous, these are poems of passion and precipices, of edges and extremes. No Map Could Show Them confirms Helen Mort’s position as one of the finest young poets at work today.”
“Mort’s work is firmly in the tradition [of] the greatest modern and contemporary English language poets. She’s channeling Philip Larkin’s shady pathos, and she’s hanging out in Derek Mahon’s forgotten places… Brilliantly laconic, perfectly-timed, sometimes playful…[with and] uncanny attention to detail.”
“This is a brilliant collection, thrilling in its explorations of our bodies as geological structures, and of our obsessions with mountains, stone and ice. It will come to be seen as an important book about gender and mountaineering, as well as much besides and beyond.”