13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
leaf by leaf the trees go blind,
This review is from: Little Gods (Paperback)
This is an astounding book. From the first poem 'The Owls' it becomes clear that Jacob Polley has fulfilled the promise attributed to him by so many critics following the widely acclaimed 'The Brink'.
The collection covers so many themes, places and ways of seeing, yet ultimately feels like a consistent collection of poems made to be together. Between (and within poems) there feels to be a sense of being fully grounded in the countryside or say a town at dusk and yet somehow also a sense of something more, something even more powerful or transcendent that can't or doesn't need to be tied down or labelled.
Personally I haven't read a poem as good as 'Decree' in a long long time. But so much of this work stays with the reader long after the book has been put down: both in terms of images ('from the top bar of a five-bar gate hangs/the green world stilled in a water seed' from Rain) to the rhythm (of You `You avoiding main roads. You warming your hands on a cow./ You on the outskirts, an industrial estate/where the kerbs are high and the corrugated sheds/ hum and grind as their arc-lit interiors swing.' And most of all the contained sensitivity of the emotions here; the almost unspoken pleading love of `Brew', the masked self of "Decree' or the bereft lover fearing what he may become (Telephone').
This is an extremely ambitious and powerful set of poems, being both highly complex yet also accessible. It has a sense of permanence about it, the kind of collection that people will be drawn back to time and again...