We've all heard of 'dirty realism'. Jacob Polley goes in for that drab, soggy, sordid species of pastoral perhaps best exemplified by the wonderful Sean O'Brien. (In fact, it's as much to do with urban and suburban life as it is to do with the countryside . . .) Sorry to disagree with one of your other reviewers, but this has very little in common with the poetry of Ted Hughes (to make such a comparison is to miss the point). The best things about these really most impressive poems are their astonishing musicality (the use both of end-rhyme and internal rhyme is masterly, and the rhythms are precisely calculated), the originality of their phrasing, and their sureness of tone. So far as the latter is concerned, Polley creates a variety of characters, all of them marginal (Sally Somewhere seems to be an elderly relative who's 'lost it' in both a literal and metaphorical sense, the 'boy in the byre' is one of those tatterdemalion young Tom o' Bedlams that haunt English literature from King Lear to Bleak House, and the 'You' in the astonishingly confident poem with that as its title is a sort of modern John Clare, homeless and on the run . . .): what's quite dazzling is his blend of the literary and the demotic in the language he deploys to bring them to life. One moment we encounter wholly idiosyncratic collocations like 'the lumpy, guileless country', and the next we're having our noses rubbed in gritty contemporary slang like 'scranning' (which I loved at first sight, but which I still had to look up in the 'Urban Dictionary' [http://www.urbandictionary.com/] to be sure that I'd fully understood it). There are quite a few poems that are either direct translations or imitations of Baudelaire, or clearly inspired by him (the slightly over the top Twilight---which I still like a lot---begins with a straight crib from Le Crepuscule du Soir and then wanders off in quite a different direction) and there are several stylish exercises in the sonnet form, or something very like it. But above all, despite the sense that he hasn't quite yet found his subject-matter, there is an intensity of vision and a maturity of style that mark Polley out as one of the most promising poets of his generation. Not since Glyn Maxwell or Sean O'Brien has there been such an exciting new English voice (though O'Brien probably wouldn't like to be tagged with that term, for all his love of Ravilious watercolours and warped nostalgia for the Fifties). Read him now, and tell your grandchildren that you were there first!