AB @ 80

I followed a path of reading that led me to Anthony’s work in the second half of the 1980s. Blood Flow, in particular, had the status of a totemic book for me then.

I met him in person towards the end of the decade: this was at a time when his lustre as a publisher had unfairly obscured his importance as a poet. Although he continued to make some extraordinary translations, his own verse had temporarily come to rest in that radiant garden which is summoned back to memory, along with Pushkin, a beautiful cat who was evidently irreplaceable, in Book Paradise: Spillikins.

It is too easy to equate Anthony’s poetry with the snowy aesthetic of the volumes in which it has been issued. His more recent writing is poised between serenity and disquiet: the apparently sheer surface of a text proves to be riven with disconcerting fissures, while an extended meditation is contained within the intricately hollowed substance of what seems at first glance to be a casual daybook entry.