Over the next years I doubt I will pick up any other poetry book as often as this one. this is the highest kind os poetry; stretching language and structure to its limits but never to teetering into mere play.

Lian's poetry is 'a letter written at nil o'clock', a profound meditation on how language both embodies andenshrouds our sense of being. that it is translated from Chinese makes the book a double wonder, and the essays by Brian Holton (the translator) and Lian himself (on the influnce of Ezra Pound's Cantos and difficulties of marrying Western avant-gardism to traditional Chinese verse forms) are dazzling. this is unutterably important poetry: Lian should be a contender for the Nobel..

Written by Stuart Kelly
Published by Scotland on Sunday (14, 8, 2005)