June 06 , 2008



Michele Leggott's new book of poetry follows on from her 2009 collection, Mirabile Dictu, in its exploration of light and of gathering dark. Leggott is a poet of the lilting, shining moment and the sections here follow some of her own moments and movements, experiments and experiences – to Devonport, to Australia, to the north – as well as reverberating with the stories and histories of others. The book's final two sections take this exploration of character and narrative further as in one we see off a soldier – shadowed by Leggott – to the First World War; and in the other – set in an earlier, unspecified time charted for us by telegraphic weather reports – a family tragedy unfolds, until a body is finally brought home for burial. With her 'dear shapes gone to sound', Leggott's textured poem-scapes are more aurally charged than ever, like a 'piano in a dark room that is / quite what it is like and never the same'. A splendid, immersive collection of poetry, Heartland is also, Leggott says, 'a destination and a song, a shadow and a single word with two chambers'.

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