Mastering the Art of Imperfection
This full collection develops themes from Moss’s first pamphlet Walking the Ridgeline: the natural world, ageing, loss and the contradictions and compensations of a long and loving marriage. Moss is a close observer and an attuned listener to landscapes and the wildlife that inhabit them, and he encourages the reader to do the same. At Prussia Cove:
‘you hear the ripple of the wren’s pure song,
the industrial humming of bees
wrapped between the open legs of lavender,
a magpie’s yikkering……..’
where we can get
‘lost in the marvellous ordinary‘.
His precise language capturing the movement and sounds of the living world as in Hidden:
‘the stilted elegance of avocets, the stoop of a hawk
dropping like a folded hinge,
a sighting of stone curlews breaking cover as they dart and run,
stop, dart and run, stand stock still, liminal,’
Using metaphor to give greater complexity and depth, his well crafted poems are a pleasure to read, yet often unsettling the reader with their ability to sting in the final line, again as in At Prussia Cove:
‘Everything is irreversible’.
His poems show us there’s no light without shadow, and ‘nothing sacred but the will to live‘.
This collection sings of nature and place and time circling in a life full of love. But these poems are not complacent: Moss knows that ‘Sometimes we need darkness to see’ . His poems gleam like talismans, or the birds he loves so much ‘aiming at a brief beauty, still diving.’ This is wonderful poetry.
About Robin Moss
Robin Moss was born and brought up in Suffolk, before leaving for further education at the University of Sussex and the London School of Economics. He has lived in the North East for over forty years, and worked as a full time Trade Union Officer before his retirement. He is married and has two daughters and four grandchildren. He has written poetry since his late teens, and more seriously since his retirement.
At school he was introduced by a wonderful English teacher to the poetry of Yeats, Hughes, Gunn, Plath and First World War poets, and was heavily influenced by the poetry inherent in the music of Bob Dylan and Chuck Berry. He has always read extensively especially poetry, even when not writing. The landscape and birdlife of Northumberland have been a rich source of images and inspiration for the poems he writes.
Mudfog Press published his first pamphlet collection in December 2015, Walking the Ridgeline.