‘We should all live to be eighty,’ exclaims one of two brothers on a low stool at a high bar in the first poem in Pearse Hutchinson’s 2008 collection.
At Least for a While is a book marked as much by simple pleasures and love for ‘the beautiful insulted land, and people’ as by its outraged response to the greedy god, Mammon. In a book of admirations and characteristic sympathy there are poems which chronicle experiences in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Milan, Lisbon and Seville. Closer to home the poet enjoys the sight of dandelions in all their glory and the immaculate flight of a magpie. His journeys into memory, and his re-examination of it, range from reflections on a generous painter and other encounters with art to moments of grief and near-perfection. At eighty-one Pearse Hutchinson composed poems remarkable for their flair, vigour and bold authority.