John Mole on Mirror Lake

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In the title poem of this accomplished and often deeply moving collection, David Van-Cauter asks ‘Were we here, or were we only passing through?’ The answer is, of course, both. His poems negotiate shifting landscapes of loss even as they celebrate the firm ground of married love. He writes elsewhere of poems that ‘stretch’ and ‘interconnect’ which is what his do, stretching the reader’s imagination while interconnecting the intimately personal with a vivid, detailed objectivity of observation. For him darkness is at times ‘comforting’ and at others ‘vacant’ but, as in the beautiful ‘Living Room’ with ‘sofas shifted to accommodate a hospital bed’ and where ‘I watch you from a distance, / two metres feeling like light years’, the room nevertheless ‘lights up/ with all we were and are.’ These are strong, affirmative poems – generous, tender, often marked by a sense of fun and banter underlying their seriousness, and always skilfully crafted.
John Mole
President of Ver Poets