Occasional verse, said Goethe, is the ‘highest kind’ of poetry. For Hegel, the relationship between poetry and the world was ‘revealed most fully’ in pièces d'occasion or gelegenheitsgedichte. George Jowett is certainly an occasional poet. He only writes occasionally, he has published his work on only a few occasions (this is his first full-length collection) and he is happiest when writing about the ritual occasions of love, middle-age, sex and death. Using metrically precise, traditional verse forms including ottava rima, Pushkin sonnets and the Burns stanza, The Gyspy and the Candy Floss Queen addresses an unsolved 1970s murder mystery and the rise and fall of a 1980s Teesside boxing legend, royal divorces, Milton, Larkin, pantomimes and funerals. Occasionally very good indeed.