In his first collection of poems Mark Valentine has continued to develop many of the themes and ideas found in both his fiction writing and his non. His poems explore memory and place, the phantasmal, the fantastical and of the joys to be found in the mundane. As ever his writing is a thing of delicate beauty in which you can feel the care and deliberation he has taken with each piece and the way his ideas have a subtle way of insinuating themselves into your thoughts, taking up residence and leaving you pondering them for some hours afterwards.
In the second half of the book Mark presents 'versions' of poems written by obscure European poets. It's unclear (to me at least) whether these are translations, adaptations of the works or, as I suspect, a combination of both but they are an interesting and compelling assortment that show the love and commitment to the literature of the fantastical that we've come to expect from Mark.
This is a rather wonderful selection that, after the delights of his short stories in 'The Uncertainty of All Earthly Things' and the fascinating articles that made up 'A Country Still All Mystery', offers us another glimpse into the worlds of this most captivating of authors.
Star Kites is available directly from the publisher - here.
Mark's Wormwoodiana website is here.