Celebrated for his lyrical intensity, his metaphysical wit, his thematic and formal range, Michael Longley is widely regarded as one of the finest poets in these islands. His life in Northern Ireland has contributed to the complexity of a poetic universe in which love, friendship and aesthetics contend with war, death and violence. There are no hard boundaries between Longley's love poetry, his nature poetry, his war poetry and his elegies. Longley looks to the poets of Greece and Rome, particularly Homer and Ovid, and to the poets of the two world wars. His great ability, perhaps, has been to distill the large and difficult themes into highly concentrated forms. This is Michael Longley's own selection from thirty years of writing; it reveals the strength and coherence of an extraordinary body of work.