"He pulls away. The wind puts its lips to an arcade.
A seagull on a barber’s pole waits to open its blades."
Here is a book of ghosts, from the mysterious traveller in the title poem who, mistaken for another man, starts to crave his new alter ego, to the first person of ‘Between Two Bridges’, Henry’s long poem on Newport, who follows his teenage ghost across the city for a night:
How the living haunt themselves is the concern of Ingrid’s Husband, and the author discovers his spirits through an imagery of absences: a child’s signature in the dust of an old guitar; the stone plinth where a café once stood; a white balloon drifting down a shopping arcade; a chateau, still furnished with the belongings of its vanished owner…
Love continues to underscore the commonplace in Paul Henry’s fifth collection and this lyric poet’s distinctive voice continues to haunt its readers.
“Ingrid’s Husband showcases Henry’s eye for striking imagery …Ingrid’s Husband succeeds as a powerful meditation on loss, and its tentative, never fully realised, attempts at renewal are always affecting…there’s more than enough fine writing in this volume to reward sustained attention.”
Richard Marggraf Turley, New Welsh Review, Feb 08
“A poet’s poet, Paul Henry gets maximum effect from minimum language. The ordinary becomes alive with possibility, comic, moving, magical, compassionate. A sense of the music of words combines with an endlessly inventive imagination.”