Pearse Hutchinson’s poems have long been recognized as unique, for their lively, learned, humane framing of experience, and for their urgent and communicative language. They are redolent of his personality: of a life lived wide awake and in many places, of a mind adventurous and well equipped that engaged above all with the truth of things as they happen. The reader who knows his work will relish the characteristic clarity and vigour of the style, the range of perspectives on life from the historic to the exotic to the homely, the occasional levitation and the passionate insights.
But Listening to Bach has a special impact. Pearse Hutchinson in this final collection places a whole era in an alternative frame, an insistently personal narrative. He looks back over a long and unconventional career to celebrate his discoveries: of places, languages, friendships, long loves, special encounters, of solitude and family, from childhood to the coming of age and illness, confronted with gallantry and an abiding delight in the world.
— Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin
Publication Date: 27 March 2014
Available to pre-order