A.F. Harrold’s new collection is a sequence detailing the illness and death of his mother but its tone is anything but elegiac. Addressed to the patient, both present and absent, the poems are frank, unflinching and honest. There is love here, but also frustration, bewilderment, confusion and grief. They exist in the spaces where despair and boredom and exhaustion meet, and at their heart describe the difficulty of dying.
From the collection
Your touch on my life was light,
worse than absent, it was a net.
Like the conjuror catching the bullet
in her teeth, every wound was salved,
nudged aside or poulticed up with a kiss.
I didn’t recognise this until later came.
Until the doctor’s door shut on you,
and we sat down. You loved me so.
They must have special lectures on this,
on how to aim words so carefully.
About the author:
A.F. Harrold was born in England in 1975. He then grew up. Now he writes and performs for adults and children, in cabarets and in schools, in bars and in basements, in fields and indoors. He is the owner of many books, a handful of hats, a few good ideas and one beard.
He has also written a number of books among which are:
A novel for children. Bloomsbury.
And published by Two Rivers Press:
Postcards from the Hedgehog (2007)
Logic and the Heart (2004)
Praise for previous books
‘Although Harrold’s voice is indisputably his own, he has Larkin’s ability to evoke and transcend mundane reality.’ – David Cooke, The North
‘Brave and compassionate poems.’ – Kate Keogan, PN Review
‘These poems are the real thing: serious about being human and being at home in the world.’ – Bernard O’Donoghue
‘He enters the territory between this world and whatever comes after it, writing so clearly and tenderly about death, memory and love that I felt both bruised and stroked.’ – Catherine Smith
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