7 September 2016
Seeing Double : Tanka Pairs, by Liam Wilkinson, was the only book I took away with me recently, having saved it specifically for that week at the coast, where I would be able to give it the attention it deserves. And so I read, re-read and browsed through it, in an increasingly relaxed state of mind, by a window that looked out onto the marsh, and with a glass of something within easy reach. And what a wonderful volume it is.
Now, you'll know that I like to maintain a (half-serious) stance of being allergic to poetry - but this applies less to tanka and not at all to Liam's work, which I have followed for a number of years. I was quietly thrilled even by his first poem here, by way of introducing himself, as I too am obsessed both with the sea and with Anthony Gormley's iron men on Crosby beach:
I stare out
with the eyes
of a hundred men
I knew that I was going to be in great company as I settled down with what proved to be a truly excellent collection of beautifully written and elegantly arranged paired tanka.
Seeing Double includes a substantial foreword by Claire Everett and an afterword by Larry Kimmel. If you have an interest in short-form poetry, this is as fine an example as you could wish for. [Here is a link to it on AmazonUK where you can find out more.] Wholeheartedly recommended.