There is something quite enigmatic and magical about Anne Rouse’s latest collection, “Ox-Eye”. Many of her images are nuanced, coded, almost just out of reach. It is as if she has an idea, taken one step away from it to ‘make it poetic’ (as is the way with poets!), and then taken another step away from that too.

The end result is a language which teases us, where concrete ‘meaning’ can remain slightly illusive. If in a few places this makes the poems harder to ‘read’, it does not disrupt her work’s overall intoxication and seduction.

In addition to all of this, Rouse’s flexibility and variety of form and subject always keeps the reader on their toes. In summary, a little gem…