A collection that is both moving and funny, elegiac and playful. The personal poems span a life-time as Thwaite relives moments of childhood, or reassesses his role as son to a dying mother, or gets told how to behave by his grandson. Elsewhere he laments his old cat and conjures up a Sumerian Anthology of poets. The principal concern of the collection is what lasts and what vanishes: dreams, memories, people and objects. In this quest, he takes us with him to Italy, Siberia and Syria, and is haunted by the mystery of places ‘where there are no words’. It is, however, the very craft of his finely wrought poetry and its sudden moments of sheer beauty which make palpable for the reader ‘the shape of the invisible soul’.