Robin Robertson’s fourth collection is, if anything, an even more moving, bleakly lyrical, and at times shocking book than Swithering, winner of the Forward Prize. Alongside deft translations from Neruda and Montale, and dynamic – at times horrific – retellings of stories from Ovid, the poems in The Wrecking Light pitch the power and wonder of nature against the frailty and failure of the human, their utter seriousness leavened by a wry, dry and disarming humour. Ghosts sift through these poems; certainties become volatile, and the simplest situations thicken with strangeness and threat.
All of these poems are haunted by the presence and pressure of the primitive world against our own, and are written with the kind of dream-like description that has become Robertson’s trademark. The Wrecking Light is a book of considerable grandeur and sweep from one of the most powerful poets at work today.
‘Robin Robertson continues to explore the bleak, beautiful territory that he has made his own. His stripped-bare lyricism, haunted by echoes of folksong, is as unforgiving as the weather and poems such as 'At Roane Head' show him writing at the height of his considerable powers’ The Times