Warm, humane, beautifully lucid poems on death, birth and the need to seize the day by one of Britain's most important poets.
Ghosts is John Fuller's fifteenth collection of poetry. In it he reckons with his own mortality, writing poems about the deaths of people he has known and the births of grandchildren, at the same time as looking forward to the time when he too will pass on. As always in his poetry, there is a probing into the meaning of life, a wonderfully melodic personal dialogue in which the poet asks and attempts to answer in the course of a poem some of life's more mysterious questions. But such philosophical musings are always anchored in beautifully concrete, atmospheric and sensual detail: a man sitting thinking in front of an open fire hugging his 'knee-hump'; the bodies of the men and women who threw themselves out of the twin tower windows floating outwards like ghosts, hovering between life and death. As with his last collection, Now and For a Time (2002), these poems have a wonderful universality, with the language and thought perhaps more accessible than Fuller has been in the past. But at the same time, they are utterly distinctive and personal, with imagery that surprises and fills the reader with admiration at every turn.
“I have much admired and enjoyed John Fuller's collection of poems Ghosts. He contemplates age and death with a kind of glee and surprised intelligence that I find very sympathetic”
A.S. Byatt, New Statesman
“Elegant, surprising meditations on approaching death - the persistence of past people and things, and the liveliness of infants”
AS Byatt, Guardian