Yes, although you heard it here first, the search for the Oxford Poetry Professor, now official (with Scotland's Geoffrey Hill leading the field, deservedly so), cannot hold a candle to the true-blue news that stays news; that is, Robin Robertson's latest work, The Wrecking Light, published this week in the U.K., simply astonishes. Twice, I've read it; twice, I've gone places and found traces I'd never believed I'd witness in (and out of) this world we word-workers consider the flight of poetry.
Unfortunately, the masterpiece won't be published in Canada till next spring (with Anansi, according to Picardor's helpful and graceful Emma Bravo); but, I invite you to visit The Guardian's 'site to hear Jay Parini's breath of fresh seer presented by Claire Armitstead and produced by Scott Cawley. I shan't say more since, well, a pair of poetic snapshots equals a million pixel-dots:
She said her name was Alice, that she'd studied with the geisha in Japan, and was trained and able in the thousand ways of pleasuring a man. We'd share some shots of whisky - her favourite brand, Black Label - then she'd knock them back, and drink me under the table. - Wonderland
Yet, this magnificently wry playfulness simply scratches The Wrecking Light's luminous surface, particularly when aligned with the miraculous Lesson, perhaps one of the most perfect poems created in the 21st century:
The green leaf opens and the leaf falls
each breath is a flame that gives in to fire;
and grief is the price we pay for love,
and the death of love the fee of all desire.
Breathtaking, utterly and heartbreakingly breathtaking . . .
FWIW: Terrific over / inner 'view of all things Robertsonian from Susan Mansfield in Scotland on Sunday: "I am conscious that I'm not a humorist," the Scot deadpans, "and my books are light on laughs; but, I hope there's a little bit of lightness there, some celebration of the wonders of the world."