Black Cat Bone, By John Burnside

Paperbacks Of The Year: Significant verses for a perfect winter

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The Independent Culture

Music and myth combine with nature in these poems to mix moss and fields with bronze and gods and songs and voices.

If ever there was a collection that signifies winter, this must be it, with its frost and ice that make the world stand still, only to warm up when men and women come together.

It's an eerily beautiful collection, that reflects on the power of poetry and the impotence of mankind in the face of an impersonal universe – "this is the grief our stories prepared us for" comes from what must surely be one of the best poems ever written, the haunting and elegiac "Neoclassical".