The List of Last Remaining proves Louise Nicholas to be a poet of generosity, wit and wisdom. In poems which range from childhood dreams and disappointments and the fraught joys of family life to an Israeli kibbutz, love, laughter and unlikely encounters, we are regaled with narrative surprises, racy details and exuberant metaphors. The pervasive humour and leaps of imagination are tempered by Louise’s emotional and verbal precision and her poised acknowledgement of loss as well as grace.
‘I choose laughter,’ Louise Nicholas writes in the last poem in her new book, ‘because it joins the dots’/allows us to find the sense in senseless,/connects us all to the last.’ Her carefully thought-through, closely focussed autobiographical poems do all of that and more, whether they choose laughter, sadness, wonder, love, or joy.
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