And several autobiographical pieces would serve well for that rainy day. These are beguiling poems that look back at childhood, sepia set pieces from the mind’s family album (My War, Tea-time). But they lack the urgent strangeness of the hospital poems. Williams has a gift for making poetry read as effortlessly as conversation – a huge accomplishment. And the final poem, The Half-Open Door, is so simple it barely exists, beautifully balanced between the pedestrian and profound.
[T]his highly readable volume turns terrifying experiences into verse that’s sometimes hyperreal, sometimes surreal, and often verges on hallucination. ‘Commonsense’ is transposed, with apparent artlessness, to make no sense at all... These are haunting, shining, untidy poems and, despite Williams’s habit of seeming to undercut himself with throwaway last lines, vivid with emotion and experience. Even those apparently casual endings have their own brilliance.