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On the plane, I’m fascinated by the back
of his neck, the way it folds itself like
dough down and around his collar,
how constellations of freckles are bears
and maidens, Pleiades and Pole stars
on the clear sky of his skin, how
a sprinkle of stubbly hair connecting ear
to complicated ear, glints gold against
the white dome of his head, that library
where he keeps his life, where words
from the book he’s reading file
busy and silent in this vastness of sky.

Victoria Field The Lost Boys (2013)


ISBN 978-1-906742-61-4


Less pessimistic than R S Thomas, T S Eliot or Elizabeth Jennings, Victoria Field is that rara avis, the religious poet. Her spiritual realities are firmly anchored in contemporary reality. Her poems illuminate the heart, and shine with richness of compassion and understanding of human predicament and travail. Place is key with this poet, from Russia to Cornwall, from Pakistan to Kent, Toronto to Wales; in these and other places the poet weaves exhilaration and elegy in poems that travel the globe of perception and arrive on the page in their own transforming and containing energy. This is a beautiful collection.

Penelope Shuttle

For the wider readership of poetry, the drama of Victoria Field’s third collection will lie in its move from the Cornish tides and stonework that have been her bardic school, into a diversity ever less predictable. Past the attained splendour of ‘After the Wedding’, her muse gains a sprightliness of figures rather than places; even the brown towns of Cornwall become intermingled with Prague and Lake Orta. A man on an airliner who carries himself in his head is followed by an inn that audibly summons up the Bantings, warriors against diabetes, who lived near Niagara after World War I. Voices join scenery, and static portraits give way to emotions conjured, for example, by the mysterious talk of women with angular hair in a café, or the moon-faced daughter and her brothers who have never been born.

Les Murray

The Lost Boys is a breakthrough. It enlarges Victoria Field’s scope and her poetics with freshness and ambition, whilst drenching her growing readership with the light of place, person and belief. Field eschews embarrassment over religious motifs and patterns and uses them to connect eternity with this blink of individual existence, through beauty, repetition, the cycle of seasons and the confession of love and loss. Water is a recurrent motif and reflects Field’s association with Cornwall — the long lines of several poems echo the rhythm of waves on a beach, building, breaking and sighing away, like breath. This is her most impressive collection to date.



Victoria Field was born in London in 1963. She has lived and worked in Turkey, Russia, Pakistan and, most recently, Cornwall where she was Writer-in-Residence at Truro
Cathedral and an Associate Artist at Hall for Cornwall, which produced two of her plays.

She now lives in Canterbury where she works as a poetry therapist.

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