Walking the Ridgeline
These poems are the work of a mature writer looking back on the richness of his life. Ranging from topics such as night fishing to buzzard love rituals, families to jazz, this collection of poems is considered and crafted. For Moss, Nature has ‘elusive messages’ that he must be alert to see or hear, noting those fleeting moments and capturing them in striking images as he walks around the North East. Hearing the ‘loop and sing’ of his lines, the ‘language of empty pillows’, the reader knows they are in a confident pair of hands.
Growing older, the ‘narrowing path’, ‘going south’ – all the metaphors are delicately laid on the page to be contemplated with a clear and unsentimental eye. The poems are by turns tender, honest and understated, facing a move towards the inevitable, as in ‘How Bees Survive Winter’.
This first collection by Robin Moss introduces the reader to a strong voice, one which observes the world and its people with a clear-eyed sharpness and also celebrates the comedy and beauty of that world with understanding delight. There are poems that bring alive a childhood in ’50s England and others which explore the intricate realities of a long marriage. Many poems have a strong sense of place situated in the language and bird life of the Tyne Valley. They are all remarkable for the precision of their language and the free, jazzy boldness of their structures.
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 the war poets, and was heavily influenced by the folk poetry of Bob Dylan and the rock poetry of Chuck Berry. He has always read extensively especially poetry, even when not writing. This is a first publication apart from four poems published in Pending Poetry in 2014, one of which is included here, “A Better Man”.
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