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This review is from: Rain (Hardcover)
Winner of the 2009 Forward Prize, 'Rain' is an emotional and philosophical collection of beautifully written poems. If anyone trots out those ill-informed would-be put-downs about how modern poetry is obscure or 'doesn't rhyme' show them this - it is neither of those yet is a firmly contemporary book of poetry.
Paterson has a masterful handling of form which never feels intrusive and always enhances the content of the poems, from the light-hearted opener in rhymed couplets ('Two Trees') to the darkly insistent 'The Lie' - five quatrains rhyming AABA and a concluding couplet BA. (You try it!) And then there's the techno geek-speak love poem 'Song for Natalie "Tusja" Beridze' with its ridiculously long lines, held together by equally ridiculous rhymes (eg. 'Nobuzaku Takemura' with 'harmonic bravura', and 'buggy or virusy' with 'software piracy'). It's a joy to read just to see what he's going to come up with next.
But there is also great emotional weight - the end of a love affair; poems about his son; and most impressively, the fittingly brilliant sequence 'Phantom' in memory of his friend, the late poet Michael Donaghy.
An exceptional collection... and probably the best released so far this century.