A Vision of Comets is James Harpur’s first collection. His poems are principally concerned with perennial themes such as love, death and time, and intimations of the numinous in the natural world. His lyrical gifts combine imagination with a strong sense of the physical, and personal intimacy with glimpses of an otherworldly dimension.
‘Mandalas, heavenly bodies, Greek mythology, temples and cathedrals give James Harpur’s first collection a sense of the sacred running in parallel to the quotidian, and while the poems often reach into the exotic or esoteric, they are nevertheless accurately and cleanly made observances of a world the senses have access to.’ Poetry Ireland Review
‘Harpur is just how I like poets – skilled, erudite, in love with language, and with proper humility.’ Stride
‘Harpur’s tunes are chiefly lyrical … the ‘welter of accumulated memories’is skilfully caught.’ Independent on Sunday
‘It is in his poems on religious themes that the poet comes into his own, skillfully using a fluid free verse in the monologues ‘Samson to his Maker’ and ‘Messiah’ and creating a frieze of great charm in ‘The Magi’’. Poetry Wales
‘Harpur’s sensibility is attuned to love, time, myth, the numinous – the makings of poetry…my opinion warmed as I read … Harpur has an imaginative wonder.’ London Magazine
James Harpur. Paperback, 88 pages, 1993