These poems explore the dynamics of presence and absence, the shapes they make and the continuities between them. There is lament but also affection and delight, along with a strong curiosity about the nature of change. Cook writes with simplicity and intensity, finding vivid and subtle life in what she notices.
A most welcome new collection from Elizabeth Cook: necessary, sustaining poems that brim with luminous insights and remind us time and again that there is another world and it is in this one – Michael Laskey
“[The poems’] energy comes from the keenness of her observation and her understanding of how the counter-play of presence and absence can shape poems. […] Attention to pattern, both within nature and human belief, underpins her collection.
So much of this collection deals with the inevitable process of changing and ways of paying attention to it, whether this is by theologists, historians, writers, architects or simply the individual person. It is a thoughtful and observant collection.” – D.A. Prince London Grip
“A compassionate, life-enhancing writer” – Merryn Williams, Agenda online
“full of tender, memorable writing and some searing elegies in particular” – Anna Woodford, Poetry Society Books of the Year 2021
“Poetry as flight, song, life, beauty, otherness. […] Some of Cook’s poems touch on deep mysteries as lightly as Yeats’s long-legged fly. […] Time and again Cook’s poems sparkle with a word which is risky but exact.
Cook’s poetry is Heaney-like in being open to the legendary and the marvellous whilst remaining sensuous and grounded. The balance of the collection inclines from earlier poems of innocence to later ones of loss and grief. Throughout, these are ‘springy’ poems of compassion, praise and sustenance.” – Ed Reiss, Stand magazine