"a William Blake for the 21st century"
from A lens in the palm
think themselves into existence
and know themselves too good
The trouble comes at picnics—
the last to leave, lovers lying
head to head, sky-faced,
naming the nameable with eyes
knowing the unknowable. After a while,
it becomes difficult to separate
what about them moves the most—
the bright intangibility of something
that's no longer there from the utter
absence that beckons in between—
the echoed darkness or the dark
unechoing. "Look", she says,
pointing to neither,
"how cold is that?"
A Lens in the Palm speaks from a world of fragmented philosophies and troubled meditations. Haunted by the ghosts of Keats and Spinoza, of Rodin and Turner, the voices that echo through these poems lead us into a place that is at once familiar and dazzlingly strange. Poems materialise from a palimpsest of twenty-first-century cities "Paris and New Orleans, Oxford, Milan" where declarations of faith and disbelief clash and blur. Here, the stars "think themselves into existence", the bones of Giotto jangle, and the "hairs on a dandelion fizz".
from the Reviews:
"a William Blake for the twenty-first century”
—Clare Hudson, Planet Magazine
"the marriage of music and mind”
—Alison Brackenbury, Poetry Wales
"a poet of real humility, who listens to his words and guides them into place”
—John Greening, The Times Literary Supplement
"Grovier’s craft stills poem and reader inside a 'slip-knot of stars'"
—Claire Crowther, New Welsh Review