Review: The Space Between Us

I had the pleasure of reading Mind poet Neil Elder's collection, The Space Between Us.

Packed with intriguing observations and descriptions which draw you into Neil's world:

'Today she watched a man clean Jesus,/

With a brush you'd use for washing up'

this collection feels personal and fragile. Poetry such as 'Like My Daughter Says' explores distance and possibly, the afterlife:

'I hope you fall like snow/ and settle for a while'.

I laughed at poems such as ‘Flatpack’ and sympathised with my own shoddy DIY skill, and ‘Reading in a church hall ’ – an offensive poem with the word ‘fuck’, innocently spoken! Through nature, animals and the mundanes of every day life, Neil creates a magic in simplicity.

It's not all light though and poems such as ‘Earth Eater’ feel gritty and rooted in the city of London and it’s ‘blue – gray London clay’. Poems such as ‘In Our Path’ shed a gloomy light with descriptions such ‘kitten noosed by orange wire’ and the mention of a person, ‘Daniel’, who was cradled carefully on a morning ‘when everything changed.’

The poem which ends the collection, ‘The Gaps’, brings the collection together. In it, I found childhood innocence, interspersed with death of animals and iconic people. It is a poem which reveals snippets of life, snippets of truth and of pain.

Explore Neil's work here


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