Alvarez has not been a prolific poet, but as another admiring critic has written, though "slight indeed in volume", his verse "is rich in its economy". If we need an explanation for why the New & Selected Poems is not twice the length of its predecessor, that same critic's explanation is assuredly the right one: "Perhaps the standard he sets [for himself] is too high."
To the poems that appeared in Autumn to Autumn, this latest volume adds nine new poems. If the focus of his earlier work was on "love, separation and death", as John Fearns has claimed, the new poems are almost all of them preoccupied with love alone - love of a man for a woman, and love of a human being for the natural world. Alvarez's poetry has been unavailable for far too long, and Waywiser is proud to be making it available again