The book focuses on how memories and imaginings haunt familiar places, their stories crowding landscapes long after people have passed away. The poems are centred on the house that three generations of Oz’s family lived in for 60 years.
Oz said: “As we grow, our surroundings – and the events that happen within them – become part of who we are. Likewise, we leave traces – certainly material, but perhaps ‘spiritual,’ for want of a less loaded term. These poems are essentially centred upon a small terraced house that my family – three generations – owned between 1955 and 2015. But through memories and stories, it spreads out way beyond the personal and domestic, and even outside that time-frame, to consider what passes and what lasts – a subject at the heart of English poetry since the earliest surviving verse we have.”
Time behaves differently in The House of Ghosts and Mirrors: generations pass each other – and themselves – in rooms that appear empty; adults occupy their childhood dreams and nightmares; stories enact themselves in portraits and postcards. Visitors come and go carrying contracts and lanterns, letters from lost loves. In parties and pageants, they parade as gamblers and gangsters, heroes and hags, demons and drunks, trailing the accumulated bric-a-brac of lifetimes like a breadcrumb trail that loops through a darkening wood – a darkening world – but always weaves its way back home.
For information about Oz Hardwick go here