In November 2015, local Mercer and Hughes vet, Ilse Pedler, won an international poetry competition run by the woman’s writing magazine Mslexia. The prize was publication of her poetry pamphlet, The Dogs That Chase Bicycle Wheels. The poems draw on her 25 year career as a vet and her deep knowledge and understanding of animals. They reflect her experiences as a veterinary student at Cambridge University, modern farming methods and the often poignant, sometimes comic events in her surgery. A secondary theme is secrets; those we keep from others, those we keep from ourselves and those that nature keeps from us. The poems have a variety of forms from a traditional sestina to prose poems and the pamphlet ends with a tender sonnet, an elegy to Peter Klein, a local architect and friend.
Seren books, the publishers say Pedler has a careful, empathetic eye for the characteristics of the animals she comes across, humans and their secrets are also observed with a sharp wryness but also with a characteristic gentleness. The Dogs that Chase Bicycle Wheels introduces us to a thoughtful, lively and distinctive new talent: the Vet/Poet Ilse Pedler.
The pamphlet is available through Seren