Late Thoughts in March

John Powell Ward
Publication Date: 
Tuesday, May 18, 1999
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Ward’s poems have a bracing freshness. He is extremely aware of the basis of language, of the alphabet as an abstract, symbolic and sacred presence, and he is wary of pinning down experience with it. His poems are as carefully composed for sound as music; philosophically they are open and searching. Ward stands persona and narrative poems on their heads, turning them into amalgams of thought, impression and imagery which reflect reality’s complexity. People and place are at the heart of the book, as are their inter-relationship. Ward’s is not a picturesque nature, but has its strangeness and wonder intact. In elegiac, scientific poems about the environment he replaces the temptation to rant with telling reticent humour and understatement. Astute readers will recognise and enjoy the formal creativity and humane, contemplative sensibility in this challenging and innovative collection.

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