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WINTER CROSSINGS Shoestring Press ISBN 978-1-912524-62-4   £10.00

Most of all, Lykiard appears to be saying that we should honour the dead in a more realistic and less emotional way, recognising each person for who they were and what they were actually like rather than idealising them. This very grounded, secular, humanistic philosophy of death is in keeping with Lykiard's detectable philosophy of life, one primarily of carpe diem, of sensation and experience, of love and travel, of socialising and socialism, of art and rationalism, of what the Greeks termed eudaimonia (happiness), of epicureanism and its goal of achieving a state of ataraxia (tranquillity and freedom from fear -could there be a better destination for the human mind?), of the mortal soul as opposed to the eternal spirit. 

Winter Crossings is once more testament to how the poetic gifts of Alexis Lykiard, far from diminishing with advancing years, grow greater and more sage like with age, gifting us ever more valuable and surprising insights from a sprightly mind that in some aspects still seems so young. 

Alan Morrison The Recusant  

I found a continuity and wholeness in the collection which bound it all together – you avoid the easy lyricism that Yeats bequeathed us I think, and go for a stronger narrative style. So many of the poems tell a story: Everyone Their Island, and a brilliant political poem about Israel, Labouring The Point: A Colonial Question… I can’t think of a better volume about getting old and viewing what’s left through the poetic lens!!

John Daniel - Poet & Author 

Your writing is wonderfully strong, touching too and occasionally laugh-out-loud funny. The honesty of your personal patches I find fine indeed.

Kate Westbrook – Artist & Musician

https://catherineeisnerfrance.blogspot.com/2020/10/riffrains-of-jazz-loving-poet-winter.html

Catherine Eisner - Author and critic

“I read and enjoyed it very much. It’s a beautiful collection.”  

Karolina Urbaniak, artist and publisher, Infinity Land Press

A book written from old age but not simply about old age. Neither sentimental nor gloomy (though one title begins Glum Thoughts), there is pleasant nostalgia along with disabused reflections on mortality. As far as the latter go, they are reminiscent of Lawrence’s poem in which human autumn is seen as beautiful after a life well lived. If Lykiard focuses on some geriatric pains, discomforts and inconveniences, it’s with a sense of irony, acceptance and recognition that love of life must embrace its waning.

The real significance is found in love, friendship and the fulfilling work of writing. There is a noticeable absence of boasting, or any reference to ‘success’ in the standard terms. The values which quietly assert themselves are not those of go-getters and greasy pole-climbers. This lack of egotism grants even the poems which deal with excruciating teeth problems or the trials of having the builders in, a sense of generous sympathy. (Lykiard might be taken as an exemplar of Hume’s contention that universal morality inheres in natural sympathy).

This is Lykiard’s seventeenth collection, he is of course also a novelist and translator. Quite why his novels are out of print or he was dropped from publishers’ lists is one of those confounding mysteries we can only regret. In his eightieth year, there is no evidence of declining literary powers. This is a wise, beautifully constructed book which will endure Horace’s fleeting years.

[Alan Dent, MQB No 15]