Laying Out the Body
These poems by Lucien Jenkins often have the quality of lucid dreams, for they are at once vivid and particular and charged with emotion.
In 'Dog' the past literally hounds you; in 'Less' the earth begins to shrink alarmingly - "then it was noticed nothing had been heard from France for some time"; in 'The Eye' Mr Average finds that his head is mysteriously aflame. Witty and readable, these poems are nevertheless grounded in serious concerns. In 'The Hanged Men' a photograph provokes an elegy full of compassionate outrage. There are poignant poems, full of a gentle concern for the ill, dying or those struck by grief or circumstance. The book ends with a series based on Van Eyck’s altarpiece 'The Adoration of the Lamb'.
Varied and entertaining, Laying Out the Body is a distinctive debut by one of Britain’s most promising poets.