David. G. Anthony's new poetry collection, 'Passing through the Woods', is now available in paperback from UK booksellers; also from Amazon UK:
It's reviewed by Ann Drysdale in 'Angle Journal of Poetry'
You can read some of the poems at his website:
He has graciously included some of Cheryl's comments on his previous book in this one-- here is the complete review:
If a poem is a verbal device designed to go off in the heart (apologies to Phillip Larkin) then David G. Anthony's graceful, contemplative collection implodes quietly, delivering emotional truths from within well- crafted constructs. Many species of form are represented here, from a tanka string or sequence (Five Views of Kyoto, Summer's End) to a roundel (Flotsam on a Winter Tide) where chiming repetitions accompany the turning tide-- "all that drifts is gathered, going /round again." In the way a taut string produces the purest tone, repetitions create resonance in the triolet A Winter Funeral; they also set up an echo of Frost's snowy woods in Passing Through the Woods. He invokes Frost again, in Road Taken, a sonnet which comes to a different conclusion in the octet regarding destiny and choice.
The author touches on many subjects here: In the section entitled People and Places, he tells stories from his Welsh boyhood: the title poem, a sonnet about memory and the circular quality of time: "These days the past is nearer." A railroad town (One-Way Ticket) shows him that his "ties are broken beyond repair:/the line is closed and just the tracks are there." In Bloodlines, a portrait of Anglo-Saxon ancestors is evoked.
They're pictured wearing baubles carved from bone,
woad-daubed and fur-clad, flaunting tribal scars.
Harsh syllables strike like successive blows and then the author asks
would they stand silent awed by all our gains---
or stricken seeing everything we've lost?
Among the disaster poems, the compulsive returns in the villanelle Plague intensify horror in an affecting way. A sense of melancholy suffuses many works, over the sacrifice of ideals, the death of people and possibilities. Regret competes with Hope as the seasons renew themselves. The author chooses to avert his eyes from the May Tree's "garlanded decay" in the lovely Hawthorn; and asks the Flower Seller,
trapped between life's schemes
and compromises, did you sell your dreams?
He notes the loss of childhood magic in Harry Potter (an inventive sonnet using both Italian and English structures) but writes an uplifting fable as a sonnet (Water-Bearers).
In the final section, Searching for Inspiration, the author fills poems about the writing life with humor: in a poem entitled Triolette, he wonders "does it rhyme with get or gay?" There is a guide to sonnet-building (Stuffing it In) that likens that form to a corset; and the search through a slush pile yields
something special: see it shine.
It coruscates: a lantern made of gold
revealing vistas formerly unseen.
I sense the presence of a noble soul
who dares to go where others have not been.
Ah, now I recollect: it's one of mine!
The poet leaves us with Bird's Eye View, a Petrarchan sonnet that hopes to "wring/ some essence from our interaction" and "stun my critics." Mission accomplished.