Date: 26 February, 2021

The poems in Stephen Gospage’s book are about life and the coronavirus pandemic. There are also some poems on the sad, self-inflicted wound that was Brexit. Coronavirus, in addition to its human tragedy and the heroic efforts of so many in combatting it, has inevitably resulted in more limited horizons for most people, in a year when many dreams and ambitions have had to be put on hold. Brexit represents the lowering of a nation’s aspirations. The title poem, The Shape of the Trees, hints at these more limited visions of the possible. However, amid this disruption, life, in all its wonderful manifestations, still triumphed in 2020, and the ‘poems on life’ in the book, be they sad, funny, wistful or something else entirely, are intended to celebrate it. 2020 will never be ‘a year to remember’ but hopefully readers will find enjoyment in this book.

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