Lawrence Sail’s poetry is noted for its scrupulous combination of close observation and broader reflections. In Guises he builds on the strengths of twelve previous collections, writing ‘in praise of perception’, which brings its own challenges and delights, embodied in the shifts and layers of language. A sense of the precious and the precarious informs poems with widely differing subjects and settings.
There is, too, a new awareness of the threat to the sumptuousness of the natural world posed by human profligacy. Sounding the provisional nature of our earth-bound experiences, Sail knows the closeness of eulogy to elegy, and his poems celebrating the immediacy of human affections and experience sit aptly alongside those remembering friends who have died. Forty-six years on from the publication of Sail’s first book, Guises offers the fruits of fullness.
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