It may seem strange to begin a review of Paul Carter’s extraordinary poetry collection by quoting the words of another writer, but these lines of Boris Pasternak’s – taken from his essay in The Poet’s Work (1989), a collection of writings by twentieth-century poets on their art – seem particularly pertinent:
By its inborn faculty of hearing, poetry
seeks out the melody of
nature amid the tumult of the
dictionary, and then, picking it up
as one picks up a tune, abandons itself to
improvisation upon that theme.