In Sea Table Kelvin Corcoran brings it all back home. Not that it was ever very far away, but for twenty years or more he has been writing a lot of poetry concerning Greece and may have gained a reputation as a specialist or travel-writing poet, both of which would be wrong. Greece, both place and stories, was a lens onto our present condition and its depths, and through that focus he developed an essentially lyrical (meaning ‘unashamedly poetry’) field as the basis for a move towards larger forms: monologue and narrative, neither merely transcribed but re-invented every time from a literal rendering of the life and the materials.
The four substantial sets in this book bring these extended skills to work on a range of subjects: a personal health crisis and recovery told as an underground descent and the return to intellectual light; a light-hearted musical prance around various poets; a rhapsodic rendering of the story of Glen Gould…And the last, the title-set, “Sea Table”, which re-engages Greece in a substantial and remarkably sustained and eloquent sequence, a multiplied poetical narrative of sea voyage and trading venture coming through difficult and easy seas back to the home it started from, which the present tense and the archaic past inhabit in harmony. -Peter Riley
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