On Magnetism contains poems about loss and remembrance, about the relation of the Renaissance and the Classical worlds to our own, about locales within lives. They are about sounding the world, and about measuring our responses to it through its various musics. The poems in the book resonate out from the title sonnet sequence, a capricious tribute to Elizabethan ‘magnetism man’ William Gilbert. Their themes and language echo compellingly back and forth across its different
occasions and inspirations.
“These are poems that are deeply informed by the music of the classical lyrical tradition, but which speak to readers everywhere in clear and compelling ways. Moving, delicate on the surface but packing punch after punch, some of these poems will move you to tears.” Naomi Wolf
“On Magnetism is a sustained meditation on magnetism in all its senses. This is a life-enhancing book, a compellingly eloquent compilation of elegies, and of love-poems addressed to people and to the world.” Bernard O’Donoghue
“This collection, as Steven Matthews puts it, is a long walk in his ‘dad’s boots’ around familiar landmarks: family, flowers, artistic and scientific artefacts. The poems are illuminated by the changing light of the seasons, by the poet’s tender, steady, considering gaze, and by an intellectual patience that allows us to see things as they were, as they are, and, slowly, anew.” Kate Clanchy
Steven Matthews. Paperback, 210 x 135 mm, 68 pages, October 2017.