on 6 September 2006
In this collection of poems Michael Symmons Roberts explores life and death, well actually 'explores' is probably not a good word in this context, 'dissects' or 'examines' would be better. You see so close does MSR draw you to the somatic subject matter that after turning a few pages you are left with a strange sensation, as if someone else's sweat were dripping down your spine. Yes, at times it really is that creepy... but never morbid, quite the opposite in fact. For instance JAIRUS oozes stickily whilst celebrating the aromatic goodness of mortality; and TONGUE journeys dizzyingly through fear and violence to the shimmering brink of hope.
If you love words, and believe in their ability to stir the soul, you will find Corpus a powerful agitator.
on 3 December 2004
This book is a modern masterpiece. The one major thing I would say that it shows is how frail and simple the human body is. He shows the body in simple and beautiful terms, and demonstrating its frailities and complexities. His poems are hard hitting, with true signs of genies in every line. The reason I give it 4/5 is because I felt that the poems were often a little to easy to read. I like something you have to really grapple with, and this didnt fulfil that quota, but its beauty overcame that and left me with a profound feeling of what it is to be a living human being.