The two searching sequences that bookend this collection are not so much elegies as unfinished conversations with friends no longer living – friendships lost or neglected, with their closeness and distances sensitively mapped. This is Philip Gross’s writing at its most hospitable, lit up by a sense of personal address, both tactful and deeply engaged. The sea that is always in sight, between us and beyond us, is more than a metaphor. It is another conversation – with the real sea of this planet, used and abused and in need of our care.Between the Islands is Philip Gross’s 26th book of poetry, and his 11th from Bloodaxe.
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