Matt Hetherington’s new collection highlights his very unique way of breaking the world at large into subtle architectures of mystery and wonder. Hetherington is fascinated by finding the universal in the particular and the sublime in the vulgar, and wrapping it up in tight little packages of observation and feeling.
This is a poet with an unmistakeable voice and a unique sensibility, who knows exactly what he is doing with language. I respond to the paradoxical sense of mysterious expanse inside his short, pared back, minimalistic poems. They sit so lightly and compactly on the page but are actually fantastical bonsai: gnarled, complex miniatures sustained by labyrinthine roots and long, long years of thinking. A book to savour and return to, season after season.
Matt Hetherington’s sensuous and philosophical poems know that “the tongue [is] the body’s strongest muscle”. The Love of the Sun is ambitious and laconic, merciless and compassionate, pushing beyond paradox into something altogether more haunting, pleasurable and real. Sunshine for bathing in, which—yes —can burn.