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An Occasional Lean-to

An Occasional Lean-to

by Ian Pople

In this new collection, Ian Pople explores the boundaries of religious and linguistic certainty.

A series of finely crafted epiphanies blend the sacred and the secular with subtle perceptions of the commonplace to explore the possibilities of a contemporary faith.

Of his first collection, The Glass Enclosure (Arc, 1996), which was awarded a PBS Recommendation and short-listed for the Forward Prize Best First Collection, Jeff Nuttall in The Independent: What saves Pople from being another despondent poetic voice is his skill with the extraordinary.

...meticulously crafted... combining movement and search with resting-points of sharply-seen detail... The lean-to is an apt symbol for poetry whose shelter barely excludes the elements...

Carol Rumens, P N Review Nov 2005

...some images are reminiscent of paintings...not just close observations, but vehicles for both anxiety and individual life-affirming vision.

Weyfarers No 98 May 2005

The writing is snappy, concrete, unmetaphorical, with swift ideogrammic transitions... This is a strong first collection, mature in language and imagery.

Herbert Lomas in the London Magazine

I had the strange sensation of being read as much as I was reading. Ian Pople's poems have a haunting effect — private, precise and demanding, they quietly investigate the moral and linguistic territories of the reader. An Occasional Lean-to is a striking collection of poems in which Pople demonstrates his acute eye for the detail of the human world as well as the natural one. It reveals a sensibility which is both subtle and stealthy: uncanny.

Maggie Hannan

Ian Pople writes: 'Samuel Palmer knew / how each leaf / lies clear of the next'. So does he. These poems witness the natural and human world in high-definition: 'a pond floats / beside a rising wall'; there is a 'pivot of water'; 'a red calorgas / cylinder in a doorless / trackside shed' — virtually every poem speaks of this attention. But the work is more than observation. These firm and carefully constructed poems are meditations, no less intense for their commonplace starting points. As his epigraph from Karl Barth indicates, Ian Pople aims to explore 'the line of intersection' between this world and God's. These are poems that offer us absorption and contemplation far beyond the moment of their reading.

Jeffrey Wainwright

76 pages
ISBN 1 900072 98 X
Published 2004

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