When the second volume of The Hoplite Journals appeared from Shearsman two years ago I wrote a brief account of it for Todd Swift’s EYEWEAR. What had struck me then was the writer’s awareness of the palpability of a past which haunts our present and a first reading of this lovely new volume of selected poems, Snow, confirms that view. As Paul Ravenscroft’s blurb comment says: ‘His form of vision allows experiences to interpenetrate in an imaginative space and emerge in new and original patterns.’
Ken Edwards’s Bardo is a modern rewrite of the Bardo Thodol, the devotional work known in the West as the Tibetan Book of the Dead, intended to be read to dead people, to help them in resisting reincarnation. The illusory gods and demons haunting the original have been translated into modern equivalents, while the original colour scheme of the seven days has been retained. This version has the port and old town of Hastings as its backdrop.
Snow is available from Shearsman Books at www.shearsman.com
Bardo is available from The Knives Forks And Spoons Press, 122 Birley Street, Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside, WA12 9UN