Their naked bodies, kneeling
in secular prayer, were shadows
playing on the wall
The title poem of this collection chronicles the eighteenth-century trial of Captain John Bolton for the murder of his apprentice girl, Elizabeth Rainbow, in a small village in the north of England where Paul Munden has spent most of his life. The poem’s reflection on the life writing process is complemented by other shadowings, glimpses of strange complicities and dark pastoral musings.
In this complex and intricately constructed volume, lyric poems address sometimes difficult, sometimes bewildering aspects of human existence head on, and in surprising and scintillating ways. Paul Munden tantalises and beguiles us with rich evocations of the mysterious and the opaque, reminding us of the strangeness of life and the mystery at the core of what we know – Paul Hetherington
From the Afterword:
The overarching theme, and preoccupation of these poems, is the role of the accomplice—particularly as manifested in the poetic biography, or non-fiction poetry as it is sometimes described. This branch of life writing is widespread, and yet not fully recognised within the field of creative non-fiction generally. Not everything presented here of course, though, is factual.