Late Love Poems explores what is timeless about love but also those qualities of sexuality, pain, devotion and grief that are affected by the ageing process….. It presents an intimate diary of love which explores the rhythms of living with someone, cooking with someone, sleeping with someone…. Ultimately, though Griffiths’ collection challenges one age-old stereotype – that love is the domain of the young – it is unable to deny the other: love cannot make us immortal.
A varied but coherent collection by a subtle and deeply intelligent writer who can address human concerns like the intimate recall of childhood or the challenges of middle age without sentimentality; he can move between abstract thought and concrete particularities with such ease that sometimes the join is invisible. This is mature writing, picking its way through the layers and ‘surfaces’ of an experience, suddenly clarified into a single lucid image.
Challenging, refreshing…the tangential world we really inhabit…. ambitious, demanding … The book has a strong and well maintained intellectual thrust which frankly sets it apart from much modern poetry. Al-Chwm itself flickers before us like a mirage, but changes shape as the next poem arrives. In the end…we must realise that the people these ambitious and challenging poems describe are ourselves, and that they represent the permanently unsettled (and unsettling) human imagination. The book is a quest, and for every reader that quest will have a different result. Maybe that is its great value.
An Elusive State is a poetic epic of time, place and language… both as invented as More’s original Utopia, and as real as the small town on Anglesey where Griffiths was born… a distinctive, distinguished accomplishment… truly a parable of many parallels, one for and beyond our times…
It’s a parallel universe, a magical epic, a comfort, a mystery.