while news love meant to keep forever
is wiped, so lightly, by this scanning weeper.
Angela Leighton's sixth collection of poems turns on the strange arts of remembering and forgetting. From Rome to Yorkshire, Naples to the Fens, she sets contemporary moments of hope and loss against a classical or Christian backdrop, while tracking a path that goes, more impersonally, from winter's cold to the growth of a garden. There are poems about war, love, childhood, age, and the wiping of memories they (differently) encourage. Whether elegiac or humorous, each tightly written poem is its own imaginable place, where words have the keen touch of things, yet things – a creaky old lift in a palazzo, a glass harp played in a backstreet, the CDs hanging on a tree, a clay doll in a museum – resonate like memorials to 'something' beyond themselves.
Whether in strict or free form, in rhyming stanzas or verbal openwork, this is a collection that tests the sound-shapes of language while always listening for the tunes and rhythms that make it sing.