‘The Meadows’ is a remarkable sequence of 101 sonnets that seeks to celebrate the life of an exceptional teacher and to make sense of his tragic death.
Robin Leanse’s mastery of form becomes a way of taking on the formlessness of loss. His style has an effortlessly conversational quality that is brilliantly achieved, the work of a poet at the height of his powers. It brings to his subjects – the nature of memory, the indispensable importance of friendship and the pull of the natural world – a rare intimacy.
This is also an affecting tale of two fathers – Leanse’s own and the teacher he appointed to the role.
Above all, it is a reminder that poetry can allow life to begin again, that it has the power to rise above sorrow.