It’s an optical amusement, a punctured surface letting light pour through holes cut out of the picture. Moon, army tents and the windows of houses and St Mary’s church glow or flicker with luminance. Between them move women and children as well as soldiers. Steamers, a brig and a schooner ride on the moonlit sea. Part and not part of the scene is the artist’s son, who lies three days buried in the churchyard at the foot of the hill where his father sits sketching the arrival of imperial troops. Now walk away from the painting when it is lit up and see how light falls into the world on this side of the picture surface. Is this what the artist meant by his cut outs? Is this the meaning of every magic lantern slide?
Vanishing Points concerns itself with appearance and disappearance as modes of memory, familial until we lose sight of that horizon line and must settle instead for a series of intersecting arcs. It is full of stories caught from the air and pictures made of words. It stands here and goes there, a real or an imagined place. If we can work out the navigation the rest will follow.
Michele Leggott’s new collection is full of history and family, lights and mirrors, the real and the surreal, now articulated through a powerful amalgam of prose poems and verse.
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This is a radiant, complex, yet very approachable book. It is, in its own way, I’m quite convinced, a masterpiece. We have a great poet among us. - Dr. Jack Ross
Leggott knows how to listen to the world, especially as her world has become dark. She is a traveller. She involves her family, and lots of characters, but produces something truly beautiful, elegant and eloquent. She serves up plenty of prose poems but uses little pauses in the line to stall the reader. - Hamesh Wyatt, Otago Daily Times
Vanishing Points is fresh, new and exciting. Her detail in these poems is breathtaking… This book has been worth the wait. - Hamish Wyatt, Otago Daily Times