often have associations rather different from those which English poetry, on the whole, might lead one to expect.
By the time this book goes to press, both Hawaiian poems will have appeared in Modern Poetry in Translation. I am grateful to the editors for allowing me to reprint them here. The numbered ‘Consolations’ continue the series—not to be regarded as a sequence—begun in my previous collection. The reference to Stevie Nicks in ‘Uncertain Light’ is quite as conscious as those to Dryden’s Virgil. And, whatever the sentiment of the ‘Plague-Year Epistle’, I have in fact met with some amiable people in the ‘groves’. Some have even been amicable. Could that be another one there, among the dark shrubs? Fond hope.
Take it, if the question matters, that the old friends are several. ‘There are so many deaths’, Burne-Jones is supposed to have said to Frances Horner, ‘besides the pale face which looks in at the door one day’. The book is dedicated affectionately to the various people, including several of my students, who have aided my spiritual flotation through the social privations of this trying year. A.W., 2020, 2021