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Review – James Sheard’s The Abandoned Settlements

James Sheard, The Abandoned Settlements, 64 pp, £9.99, Jonathan Cape

Sheard’s intense lyrical subjectivity contrasts with both Longley and Clifton. Most of the poems in The Abandoned Settlements involve the ending of a relationship. Many are haunted by other losses, personal or cultural. In some the break-up of the relationship is central; in others, like the fine title poem, there’s a wider focus and a looser weave of analogies between different scenes of physical dereliction and different places where lost love is remembered. This is one of many poems that display Sheard’s gifts in the orchestration of sound and rhythm, … Continue Reading