This is an appealing and engaging collection of poems, at first sight documenting moments from the poet’s time in the Mediterranean, Japan and his home country, England. Although these are his memories, any one of a certain age will identify with some of his childhood recollections of holidays involving chilly English beaches and crazy golf, and vignettes from school life. For those of us not familiar with other shores, Archer paints a compelling series of scenes from further afield. But alongside these, there is a deeper and darker side to some of the poems, as Archer turns his attention to mortality and the cycle of birth and death.
For me, the fascination of this collection is in how memories fuse as the wheel of time turns, and it is impossible not to reflect on one’s own recollections and how these from time to time rise to the surface of our conscious mind, and with a little encouragement grow clearer.
This is an accomplished collection which bears several readings to reveal the layers of meaning in the poems. Highly recommended.
by FW London
Paul Archer is a poet and translator of Japanese and Spanish poetry. He graduated from the University of Oxford with a degree in English Language and Literature and has lived in London, Tokyo and Mallorca.