The Road to the Gunpowder House
Neil Curry’s long-awaited new collection, the first since “The Bending of the Bow” (1993), has a colloquial ease that suits the poet’s narrative tendency. “Tidelines”, the opening poem, introduces a recurring image of the sea-shore, and demonstrates Curry’s profound engagement with nature.
Elsewhere a fascination with man’s influence over nature, from Eden to the Alhambra, results in a beautiful sequence of Marvell-like garden poems. Curry also excels at placing historical figures into his landscapes, such as Ruskin in “Brantwood” or an exiled Ovid staring into the waves. The final sequence, based on the Stations of the Cross and four different deaths, is the book’s most personal and is written ‘to make peace with the certitude of loss’.