CORPUS - Michael Symmons Roberts' ambitious and inventive fourth collection - centres around the body. Mystical, philosophical and erotic, the bodies in these poems move between different worlds - life and after-life, death and resurrection - encountering pathologists' blades, geneticists' maps and the wounds of love and war.Equally at ease with scripture (Jacob wrestling the Angel in CHOREOGRAPHY) and science (MAPPING THE GENOME), these poems are a thrilling blend of modern and ancient wisdom, a profound and lyrical exploration of the mysteries of the body-So the martyrs took the lamb.It tasted rich, steeped in essenceOf anchovy. They picked it clean And found within, a goose, its pink Beak in the lamb's mouth like a tongue. Ranging effortlessly between the physical extremes of death - from putrefaction to purification - and life - drought and flood, hunger and satiation - the poems in Corpus speak most movingly of'living the half-life between two elements', of what it is to be unique and luminously alive.
"Gorgeously meditative." -- Christina Patterson * Independent *
"Michael Symmons Roberts is a religious poet, though not in the sense of brandishing doctrinal certainties; he reflects on the world in a way that is informed by a sense of grace, of transcendence, but the pieces are grounded in detail, beautifully expressed, subtly luminous." -- Robert Potts * Guardian *