These are poems of love and loss, war and dispossession, searching and finding, but above all the trauma and desolation of civil war. Beautifully observed and eloquently told, they gleam, with a bright Greek light, as if they were recomposed from fragments of old codices. These are truly poems of the dispossessed.
Poetry of great lyrical beauty, tenderness and humanity.
At the heart of Anton Floyd’s new collection, at its very throbbing core, are the assembled witnesses of history, proclaiming themselves in the form of proclaiming themselves in a series of tercets. These three-line poems, placed between the sentinels of larger, formal, contemplative poems, contain the winds that blow each refugee into exile, allow the dust of a lost paradise to lodge beneath the fingernails, preserve the fumes of war in ragged clothing and reveal entire families washed up upon the shoreline. Floyd has created an absolutely urgent collection out of the fragments that remain after the holocaust of our histories. Here is a painful, contemporary masterpiece carved out of expulsions, wanderings and exile. Here is a poet who writes with a passionate assurance, with a Byronic urgency and lyricism, and with the certainty of knowing for sure that ‘The innocent all have voices.’
As an Eritrean poet in exile, this collection of poems is written in a voice I can recognise and understand. It is important for me personally that some of the poems have been translated into Tigrinya, my mother-tongue. It honours my story which belongs with these depositions.