An ice-bound New England pond - utterly still, though racked with sub-glacial groans - serves as an image of a mind overwhelmed one moment by troubling memories, the next by the peace that passes all understanding. In his new collection, Michael Jackson explores the impact on a poets consciousness of past and present events - both personal and historical - and the possibility of transcendence in love and creative work. Without ever submitting to bland fashion or to clique, Michael Jackson for almost fifty years has written poetry which is that of a man confronting the things happening of his time, poems probing at that recurrent query, where does one take ones place in the terrible parades of history.
There is no final reply. But by love, by compassion, by constant attention to what is said and how it is written, the questioning itself, with luck, sustains. What one hears in his readings is the modest, confident, international voice that drives his poems, the conversing of a man who, as ever, is on one road to find another.
- Vincent OSullivan.