After a gap of thirteen years this is a new collection by an extremely gifted but underrated poet. Michael Harlow’s poetry has always embodied a dialogue with European literary traditions and his abiding theme, here as in his earlier books, is the search for language to express and convey the strangeness and mystery of the everyday. His use of word, image and rhythm is sophisticated and inventive and though there is a dark strain in this collection, which deals with several deaths, there is also a good deal of humour. There is magic and dream and unlikely stories. The collection is in seven parts defined thematically and including a section of prose poems. The range in form and tone and the easy confidence of Harlow’s style make this a particularly rewarding collection.
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