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Adam Thorpe, Voluntary – Sophisticated art and deep feeling

Voluntary, by Adam Thorpe. Jonathan Cape. 70 pp. £10.00

Long sentences subtly inflected by metre and stanza pattern are characteristic of Adam Thorpe’s style and essential to what he does. He’s a poet of complex, nuanced reflection, a poet who weaves things together rather than isolating them, who makes you feel whole sequences of ideas taking light from, generating and collapsing into others. The deepest pleasures and illuminations of his writing are to be found in following these long tracking movements of feeling and thought.

Take this from “The Swimming Pool (Kinshasa, 1968)”:

Our gardener would rake its gloom
like a patch … Continue Reading