I wouldn't deem myself knowledgeable enough on poetry matters to attemopt a review of this book by James Harpur which came out in 2007.
I picked up a copy down in Baffle in Loughrea last October and its probably a book that has changed my approach to poetry. Up till the time I read it, I thought that, for poetry to be good, it needed to be unintelligible and Four Quartets-ish, something that you pored over as an exercise in putting the pieces together to make a whole.
The Dark Age shows otherwise. I can understand it! I am sure there are levels I haven't delved into but I could sit back and linger over the words with enjoyment rather than reading and re-reading and trying to make sense.
There are some fantastic images in the poems and a lot of rhyming too!
I always felt my own work was too straightforward and intelligible ever to make it. While I am nowhere near on a par with James, at least I feel a lot more confidence in the worth of my own stuff and shouldn't strive to make it more obscure.
A beautiful book.