This is a hungry, searching collection from a poet who tackles every subject – the death of Seemberjeet Kaur, a small green frog on the track to Lumb Bank, politics, hatred, love, silence and everything in between – with generosity, passion and inventiveness. Nick Allen captures the ways that landscapes can both undo us and make us want to live.
Here is the poet as naturalist, historian, elegist, social-commentator and celebrant. the riding – a particularly Yorkshire term – sees Nick Allen sometimes staring ferociously, often gazing contemplatively, at what characterizes the Yorkshire of his experience and the experiences of those who inhabit, and have inhabited, his locale. People, animals, landscapes, the sum of all that has been lost, and what remains, evolve. These poems offer so much more than a ‘poetry of place’ and, though often hard-hitting, they are essentially brim full of existential joy, as Allen steps into the tracks of others. A fine and compelling collection.