Bookshop Window: Out of Land: New and Selected Poems - Lawrence Sail: Bloodaxe, pounds 7.95

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The Independent Culture
Lawrence Sail's recent sequence on Paul Klee gives a clue to his essential thrust. Like Klee, he is taut and impacted, forcing emotion into flowers, a yacht deck riddled with rain, a family heirloom ring, his daughter's tooth, any number of paysages moralises. The sea is his most persistent inspiration, both for its depths and its surface glitter. The technique is precise ('enamelled', as one critic put it), and each poem is a fully fledged object, something that is far rarer in contemporary poetry than it should be. He is at his best in finding sacraments in humble places: the Newtonian cosmology of the snooker table, or allotments, which he sees as 'the last real estate of common prayer'.