'The only peace: to know my place
And what I now must do,
Striding with the light full in my face,
And gravel in my shoe.'
Bright, elemental and as dexterously brilliant as ever, John Fuller's latest collection takes as its subject 'our ends and our origins'. Here are songs, serenades, literary cameos, an ode to a golden anniversary, a long letter to an old friend, and two majestic sequences: one dedicated to the Welsh woman of the woods, Mary Price; the other, sun-drenched sonnets that keenly observe the natural world against 'the flavour of our own mortality'.
With wit, warmth and wisdom, Gravel in My Shoe playfully balances the light and shade of life, in full awareness of its passing but with a spring in its step nevertheless. It shows us, ultimately, that 'life is too short, but poetry's eternal'.
The free-wheeling, conversational, frequently didactic tone suits Fuller perfectly, enabling him to comment on art as well as life.
A significant presence in British letters