‘What is a poet?’ the title poem of this collection, Cosmos Mariner, asks and answers: ‘word-peckers, rhyming jackdaws of the world’.
The poems in this, Mike Harding’s sixth poetry collection, explore both what poetry means and what it means to be a poet. There is a dark undertow to his work here which in many cases reflects the current distracted political times. Longer poems, such as King Cotton and A Murano Dagger, go deeper and question received wisdoms. Against this, gentler poems such as The Cleggan Sonnets and The Curve of Love show Harding’s gift for capturing epiphanies and fixing them with a piercing simplicity that remains burned in the memory.