The Meadows by Robin Leanse
The Meadows is a remarkable sequence of 101 sonnets that seeks at once to celebrate the life of an exceptional teacher and attempts to make sense of his tragic death. Robin Leanse's mastery of form becomes a way of taking on the formlessness of loss. His style has an effortlessly conversational quality that is brilliantly achieved, the work of a poet at the height of his powers. It brings to his subjects - the nature of memory, the indispensable importance of friendship and the pull of the natural world - a rare intimacy. This is also an affecting tale of two fathers - Leanse's own and the teacher he appointed to the role. Above all, it is a reminder that poetry can allow life to begin again, that it has the power to rise above sorrow.
Robin Leanse was born in Naussau, Bahamas in 1951. He was educated at Winchester and Oxford. His poems have appeared in the Observer and the Spectator, and he was awarded a specially created prize by Ted Hughes and Seamus Heaney in the 1987 Arvon Poetry Competition. He is married, has a family of six boys and a grand daughter, and lives in London.