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May 2008

Between Seasons

- Alan

Between Seasons is the title of Lloyd Hofman's new collection of poems. By turns whimsical, lyrical, melancholic, amused and quietly passionate, these are intimate poems which draw the reader quietly into Lloyd's world. He's a close and sensitive observer of nature – a mantis is extinguished in his candle flame, a young bamboo “strokes autumn skies”, a tree frog leaps into his hair – but there are also poems of love lost and love regained. Above all, these are the poems of a man who has cut the cables of the past and is shaping a new self out of solitude and the simple contacts of daily life.

life seasons by

as bird song dips

the forest without

into the soul

unstudied, bare


The force of this poetry lies in its simplicity and integrity. As he puts it in Clay Poems:


My aim was a few words

to deal with knowing but

light in coming across.


A small body of speech

to be true to itself

and fit for any use.


Sometimes a poem fails to sustain a certain tone or feeling. The wrong word, an awkward rhythm or an abrupt shift of register breaks the spell he has beautifully created. But this is a minor quibble. Overall, I felt privileged to have been allowed a glimpse of a sensitive being in the act of exploring itself, as well as learning when to let go:


Sometimes I go beyond

the fringes of my thoughts

and artificial space

at ease in not knowing,

not seeing myself, and

at one with the outcome




Between Seasons

by Lloyd Hofman.

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