The poems in Grimalkin - Thomas Lynch's first publication in Britain are all concerned, in one way or another, with achieving a balance in the face of gravity. In each poem, Lynch is looking for this equilibrium between equal and opposing forces: the gravities of sex and death, love and grief - all the things that make us breathless and horizontal, mortal and memorable.
By means of a wry, mordant wit, telling observation and glorious poise, we are shown the strong tensions that make us human: the forces in our nature that create, replicate, restore, renew us; and those that kill us, constrict our lives, silence us. From spirited invective to meditations on morality, from lyrics of love and desire to a corrosive flyting to his ex-wife, these poems explore an extraordinary emotional range and technical facility but, more importantly, they reveal a compassionate, wise, and genial humanity.
Thomas Lynch is at pains to seem the guileless author of poems which simply end up in remarkable proximity to their subjects. In fact he is an artist of great gifts, musically elevating and directing the speaking voice towards a startling power, moving through the accumulation of detail to give a visionary account of ordinary life, doing justice to its error and comedy. If it remains the poet's task to say thigns on behalf of everybody, Lynch shows us how it shoud be done
Thomas Lynch looks into the eyes of corpses and sees their lives and their difficult loves that remind him of his own. And he manages to do this with humour and grace
He can fashion long, singing lines unafraid of the old elemental resonances of stars, roses, angels, the Latin mysteries of his Catholic childhood
His stately ruminations... mediate between the poles of innocent joy and ultimate disaster without tipping over in either direction
This thoughtful volume is neither too sentimental nor too clinical about death's role (and the author's) in our lives