From meditations on the glimpsed and the fleeting — presences so small they “slip through cracks in the day” — to ruminations on some of the most pressing concerns of our time, the poems in Mark Roper’s new collection play a series of variations on how we perceive and try to connect with the ‘more-than-human’ world. There are poems addressed to familiar companions such as the moon, or a shadow (“your dark matter / neither life nor soul”); poems that stem from travels abroad; and poems that respond to the miniature worlds, and larger implications, of exhibits in a number of museums.
Throughout, Roper’s keynote alertness and subtlety of language frame and mirror his subject matter with consummate skill, allowing the reader to see, hear and sense the vital presences far beyond the margins of the page.
The second half of the book addresses a serious accident in the mountains, and its long aftermath — for which the poet’s startling attention to detail and commitment to his art and craft provides both cure and consolation.
“This book contains so many perfect lyrics as to make any writer jealous”
– John Killick in The North, writing on Even So: New and Selected Poems
your face a map of hurt
no tear consoles.
it would be so much harder
You come and go,
proud of your scars.
for one more round,
wanting the night
never to end.
no matter how broken.