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Manichaean Contrasts
A Late Selection of Poetry
Philip Higson
With that heightened sense of chiaroscuro brought by advancing years, the poet here pays tribute to those places and people that have enriched and fortified and uplifted him, but also identifies the dehumanised void and its abettors which gapes as engulfingly as ever. At the end of this literary voyage however, like a beacon shining beyond darkness, waits the beautiful Goddess of his sonnets, relegated now to the spiritual dimension but safe at last, he prays, from degeneracy, jealousy, and treachery.


130 Pages

Published by The Friarswood Press (Cestrian Helicon Imprint) in 2004

ISBN: 9780954600600

This selection of poems took its origin from the desire of Canadian publisher Joe M. Ruggier to honour the author with an individual volume containing mainly his longer and formal poems. In fact the result has been a mixture of poems long and short, formal and free, no doubt because the author became characteristically absorbed in subject more than structure, an absorption towards which Ruggier showed himself characteristically indulgent. Even so flexible an editor leaves his mark, however, on the product of an author who respects his judgement, appreciates his moral and aesthetic sensitivity. A keen sense of good and evil, in his editor no less than in his own maturer self, has led the present author to produce a wide-ranging book about 'Manichaean' extremes of environment and human character, extremes of ecstasy and extremes of desolation. Here can be found everything from inner-city wastelands to the traditional squire-led village, from insatiably destructive trendiness to the sources of spiritual detachment and fortitude.