Receiving the King's Lynn Poetry Award for 2001, and a visit in the same year to Bayreuth to hear the complete Wagner Ring cycle, set C. K. Stead writing the sequences which open and close this collection.
The opening sequence, 'King's Lynn and the Pacific', follows the fortunes of two young sailors, James Burney and George Vancouver, as they sail with Captain Cook into the Pacific. The closing sequence, 'At Wagner's Tomb', sees the great composer in his relationships with some of the major figures in his life. Both sequences engage the poet's long-established technical skills — particularly, here, in the use of syllabics — in combination with his talent as a storyteller. Between comes a group of poems that are, by turns, witty, satirical, philosophical, reflective and lyrical in which the 'Dog' theme of the King's Lynn sequence recurs.
In this new collection, C. K. Stead shows himself still in full charge of a talent which has surprised, delighted and challenged readers of poetry since it first declared itself in the 1950s.
ISBN 1 900072 79 3