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Jonathan Cape Ltd.
From an abandoned rowing boat in Estonia full of wild flowers to a swimming pool in the Congo full of drowned insects, Adam Thorpe's new collection takes us on a wide-ranging journey through states of gain and loss, alienation and belonging. In the title poem, the poet disturbs a flock of geese by his mere presence, and one goose takes the wrong direction, away from the flock, as a 'voluntary exile'. A bid for freedom, or a mistake?extempore music: the gleeful play of a sea-otter, the extraordinary gift of a passing gull to his small daughter, or poetry itself.
Voluntary, his sixth collection, is a timely reminder of the elegance, skill and remarkable range of this most gifted English writer.