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Building into Air

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The unifying themes of Building into Air are the human search for home, and the sense of striving which Lawrence Sail finds in 'the bright attempt to build / the city's simulacrum into high air'. Its opening sequence is primarily a response to three unnamed English cities, but also takes in broader historical and geographical contexts. The book's central section consists of love poems, while the final part includes poems about family and friends, and a variety of landscapes and countries.

Peter Forbes has called Sail "a lyric poet in the classic mould". Building into Air adds to the achievement of Out of Land: New & Selected Poems (1992). These are poems "haunted by disharmony, by a sense of edges and endings, the silence after musicÖ marvellous exotic miniatures, enamelled models of perception" (Times Literary Supplement).

"Unalloyed good writingÖ Sail's work is certainly tender. Disturbances, threats and doubts are confronted in his poems, but there is an equally vivid tendency towards celebrationÖ He seems to me a poet of acceptances more than rejections. There is a genuine presence of affection in his writing, of world-love and enjoyments."
Douglas Dunn, Poetry Review

"Beneath the elegance and refinement of Lawrence Sail's artistry is the ever-present undertow ñ the current below the aesthetic surface, moving in a contrary direction to that of the surface current, and it is this that gives the poems their authority and depth of vision."
Catherine Beeston, Critical Survey