Cusp by Graham Mort REVIEW

CuspCusp by Graham Mort
Published by Seren Books
Published 1 November 2011
118 pages
Digital library book

Poet’s website


‘Cusp’, this new collection from Graham Mort, features many of the qualities readers have come to admire; keen observation, a feeling for the natural world that echoes and enhances the human interactions in his poems, the sense of the individual as part of a larger society of which we are implicitly responsible. New here is a different sort of line, which alternates short and longer lines in a step-like formation, a terracing which propels the narratives along. Also included is the remarkable, ambitious long poem, ‘Electricity’, fizzing with riffs on its theme. Morts formal rigour, instinctive compassion, and warm humanity shine through in this new book, the first since his acclaimed Visibility: New and Selected Poems.


From Metalwork

Water’s gleam is pewter
The wood’s alchemical copper
Bronze and gold stripped
From the tree’s base metal…


I thought Cusp was just an okay collection of poetry but nothing particularly brilliant. The poems for the most part deal with the sort of subject matter that tends to bore me; poems about the natural world and how humanity interacts with nature. I prefer my poems darker, dripping with a little blood whenever possible. In the words of Emily Dickenson, poems should be the axe that smashes the frozen sea inside you. Cusp didn’t even graze the surface of the ice inside me. Don’t get me wrong, the poems are well-written and full of great, powerful imagery – the subject matter just left me cold. Cusp disappointed me and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.




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