The Milk Thief
The Milk Thief is time - as it colours the lives of the characters and relatives who feature in Paul Henry’s new collection of poems. The first two sections of the book are set primarily against the backdrop of the Ceredigion coast in Wales. A giant turtle washed up on the beach, an encounter with the British Boomerang Champion, and the summer sandals worn by the poet’s father, are among the incidents, people and objects that inspire these poems. The coastline also features in a sequence centred around twelve impressionistic portraits of female relatives entitled ’The Visitors’. Yet here, as elsewhere throughout the book, belonging is ultimately defined by love and not by place - a belief reinforced in the harder-edged final section of the book, ’Newport East’, where the colder realities of city life are seen through the poet’s sympathetic and transforming eye.