Opening and closing with poems that describe what he calls a river’s “breath”, Mark Roper’s new collection is both a significant development of his work as one of the most admired nature poets of his generation, and at the same time a deeply personal record of the loss of his elderly mother. Roper’s trademark clarity of detail and simple, nuanced diction are brought to bear throughout, and the twin presences of death and life, like all great opposites, become so close to each other as to be inseparable. Spare, lyrical and always tender, A Gather of Shadow is a kind of haunting – not by something that is far away or remote, but by the knowledge that might be said to define us as human.
“Although A Gather of Shadow reflects tenderness and loss so powerfully it’s not a heavy read. This isn’t only because several of the poems have light moments. Throughout there is a sense of how much life’s small and large events matter. Mark Roper’s writing sends that shiver down my spine which is the sign of true poetry. His images have become part of my consciousness. What greater praise could I give to this book?”
— Myra Schneider, Acumen
ISBN 978 1 906614 591 Paperback
140 x 216 mm, 58 pp