Michael Daviot is a barely contained explosion of a poet.
He relies heavily on stress and the sometimes pounding rhythm of his poetry drives the meaning forward. He favours strong emotive language and minimal punctuation, allowing the free lines and the consonance to speak for itself. Unusually for a poet versed in performance his work engages shape and contour on the page in a way that supports the intent of his poetry.
The overarching feeling is that of an uneasy intelligence kicking at the bars of conventionality, capable of great frustration as well as great gentleness.
This is well read but not derivative work.
If there is a flaw, and it’s a small one, he can sometimes fall into the feeling of being over studied. But here I am talking about the odd line and the odd occasion.
This is work that shines brighter with performance and if you get the opportunity to hear him read his work I encourage you to do so.
You might want to take body armour.
You can find him on twitter @MDaviot
and he is a regular performer at the Speakeasy in Edinburgh @SpeakeasyEd
On the whole, this is a work of descriptive lyric poetry, shining with simile.
Then, in places, we find the curling smoke of narrative, of warfare, of welfare.
It is a collection in three parts, each with a distinctive feel and elegantly placed by the editorial team.
The poet moves from couplet through the numbered stanzas to free verse, and back again, with confidence and grace. The pace is impressive, largely because the poems are a joy of enjambment. We return repeatedly to insect imagery, sometimes in surprising places, and the buzz of the bee intermingles with the call to prayer and the heat of an unholy war.
The impression given is that of a reserved poet, a tightly contained poet.
The work is elegant and strong.
If it is silk then it is silk over steel.
And, I don’t think that I know him yet.
But I would like to.
The Knowledge is poetry by Robert Peake, who you can find here
and will be released in April 2015 by Nine arches Press