“I found these remarkable poems intensely moving. They chart a process of huge loss and the road to recovery. Each individual poem is a small gem and the writing is so beautifully controlled that what I took from the collection in the end was a sense of hope. A really strong first collection. I loved it.”
About Leaving is very quiet and very precise.
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The Day You Left
Walking from one empty room
to another, filled with silence
after the harsh clatter
of diesel and last words,
and dust drifting in circles,
sunlit, but always falling.
With the clock ticking towards home-time.
With the sofa you chose
moved to where I had wanted it.
Somewhere between making a cup of tea
and finding your pencilled note:
bras should be hand-washed
is where the falling stopped,
is where I started.
"This deceptively simple pamphlet poignantly explores the process of coming to terms with the departure and, later, death of a loved one. Glass's poems move through sparse spaces of domestic absence [...] Carrying the weight of love and loss, these poems offer hope of a new found strength. [...]"
Poetry Book Society, Spring Bulletin 2020
"The theme of finding strength in a family and creating a safe place for children, even those who grow up and leave, to return to is as strong as the notion of leaving. The poems benefit from a programmer’s precision with language, but also offer texture and an openness of interpretation. They start in personal experience but open out into a universal concern: the effect on children of a parent’s absence and a desire to ensure home feels welcome. For all its apparent lightness, “About Leaving”, probes the intense experience of loss and recovery with honesty and concern."
Emma Lee, full review here.
"Ian Glass’s surname is perfect for his poetry. In ‘About Leaving’, the writing is as sharp and clear as glass, creating a frame — a window — through which to look at emptiness, departure and loss. [...]
By writing around leaving — by skirting the edges of grief — Glass communicates these experiences and feelings in a way which embodies them. Here are poems about states of being at once as empty — and full — of reflections as glass."
Isabelle Thompson, Sphinx/OPOI (One Point of Interest), the full review 'Writing around loss: concision, transference and understatement' here.
"[...] It is such details of syntax and diction that are a key strength in this collection. The poems are plain on the surface, letting the emotional intensity of the events and responses they describe come through unembarrassed by poetic expression, aided by care and attention."
"[...] See again the clarity and directness of the writing. ‘Absent’ is in fact a pantoum, so its clarity, preserved throughout its length, is a mark of skill as well as disposition. [...]"
Stephen Payne, Sabotage Reviews, full review here.