I've read a lot of Colin Dardis's poetry, both in magazines and in his first book Left of Soul; and he never ceases to delight. This new collection (which includes a few from Left of Soul such as Sleep Becomes Her and The Night Birds) has so many strikingly beautiful lines and images that I could spend the whole of this review in quoting them.
In Shimmer, for example, there is 'Each star a celebration / suspended in the sky/ by the memory of your grace';and in Take the Sun, 'And if she danced/ there would be sunsets/ where the evening paused in splendour.' 'The eye of the moon is upon me / and the trumpets echo now.' Colin Dardis in many ways reminds me of Tennyson or even Jon Stallworthy, both poets with an eye for beauty and the ability to convey it; and particularly successful in their love poetry. But Dardis, here, is writing not just about love but also about a particular subject, the cycle of day and night and how we deal with this never ending movement of our lives. Sunshine Bed and Home for the Stars are marvellously evocative examples of this.
Awake to This focuses on dawn, which we so regularly miss '...in order to witness / the slow fracture of dawn / trickle down the black mountainside.' A Shift of Seasons is another love poem. 'Come light your fire around me / let's set up camp in each other / and settle down for the rest of our hours/ together, peacefully.' A fine example of a pun used to convey a double meaning full of beauty, in the manner of the Metaphysical poets. 'I have seen your star in my sky / and it has guided me home.' Then there's the effective image in Sunset at Bridge, 'The Lagan shining like a debutante's necklace / lovingly wrapped round the city's neck.' And Teasing the Sleeper, '...each one sewn into the air / with God's promise / of another day.'
If you like good poetry, then you really shouldn't miss out on this very good book.
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