The Cost of Keys - Sue Rose

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The Cost of Keys, incorporating the sonnet sequence ‘Heart Archives’, is exquisitely honed work that delves into memory with a fineness of touch that ‘is as unexpected as it is elliptical. The work ranges from the nature of a sick heart to the finality of menopause after not being able to conceive, but whilst there is a good deal of loss and wistfulness in these pieces, nothing is ever cloying or sentimental; the language is too fresh and surprising for that and the visceral and emotional are balanced by a humane and generous wit that knows how to play with words, as in G25042013: …ghosts warble our back stories, smug immortals, always on call. Whilst the ‘Heart Archive’ sequence is made up of sonnets, the perfect form for love poems to ordinary, but intimate objects that coalesce around a family narrative at once unique and familiar, the poems in the early part of the collection range more widely in form taking in the many ways that human life is transient, from the damage of volcanic disasters to the limitations of ‘flesh and blood’. This is beautifully written, evocative, moving poetry from a fine writer. each moment past transmuted into data: something gone.

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