John Burnside's new book of poetry, The Good Neighbor

John Burnside is one of the finest poets of our age. I met him at Riddu Riddu, a music festival held every year north of the Arctic Circle in Norway. He was on assignment from the BBC to do a piece on the festival and interviewed me. He promised me a book, The Light Trap arrived and I was entranced. Yesterday his new book, The Good Neighbor, Jonathan Cape, an imprint of Random House arrived at the bottom of three weeks of mail. I opened it first and stopped for poetry and was stopped. From "The Good Neighbor": "...and when he lays his book down, checks the hour/and fills a kettle, something hooded stops,/as cell by cell, a heartbeat at a time,/my one good neighbor sets himself aside,/and alters into someone I have known:/a passing stranger on the road to grief,/husband and father; rich man; poor man; thief."

No comments: