Ruth Padel

Emerald
  • Emerald

  • Ruth Padel

    An elegy to a lost mother, Emerald is the moving new collection from prize-winning poet Ruth Padel

    ‘Here in deep earth, the black
    blossom of mourning still sifting within me
    I remembered that emerald was my birthstone …’


    Prize-winning poet Ruth Padel’s heartfelt new collection is a grief observed: an elegy for her mother on her death at the age of ninety-seven.

    Exploring the riches of emerald lore, Padel follows the glint of green – ‘green for awakening / for bringing life back from the dead’ – from memories of her mother, a naturalist, to the black honeycomb of a Colombian emerald mine and sunset-pink of the Emerald City, Jaipur. Beneath everything shines the jewel itself, ‘the only stone in which the flaws are prized’.

    Beautifully carved and cadenced, Emerald is a moving chronicle of value and loss, and a celebration of all that is precious in the life that remains.

Ruth Padel is a prizewinning poet, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and Professor of Poetry at King’s College London. Her recent collections include Darwin: A Life in Poems, on her great-grandfather Charles Darwin; The Mara Crossing, on migration and immigration; Tidings: A Christmas Journey, and Emerald, a poignant elegy for her mother. She lives in London.