Sunday, 28 February 2016

Praise for Melos poets

From Rory Waterman in the TLS, November 20th, 2015: of the first crop from Melos is The Secrets of the Sea by Nicholas Murray. The poems are often invigorated by all too human misprisions or incongruities: Brendan and his monks praying on their "small island" before "the whale lifts itself from seeming sleep"; intimations of romance in the fish market where "great crustaceans twitch" and "a salmon sleeps in a drift of ice".

Particularly impressive for its apparent simplicity, for the clarity and warmth of its voice, and for its abiding relevance and humanity, is Since by Ian Parks. In one poem, a euphoric paean to escape and to traditional England, a young man returns from a summer in a beach hut to the city and "the headlines I'd ignored". In another, the speaker recalls that his house was once the place where the bereaved registered the deaths of miners, "a drop of ink and scraping pen / reducing flesh and blood to dates and names".