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These poems are brimming with radical intent, drawing from a rich and varied lineage. Coleridge, Donne, Johnny Cash and the Renaissance alchemists John Dee and Robert Fludd are more than literary namedrops here – they are visionaries, true ‘men in black’, embodiments of dissent and an uncompromising search for answers.
Man in Black presents a startling vision of the countryside in decline, of ‘absent Dorset folk’ marginalised and repackaged for the tourist industry. In this vision, historical flashbacks and the ghosts of ‘men in black’ jostle for position with the contemporary; the learned with the lived. And all characterised by Caddy’s probing, visceral poetic language. Together with his previous collection The Willy Poems, Man in Black presents Caddy’s preoccupations with the outsider, the esoteric and the rural poor, confirming his reputation as one of England’s most significant poets of place.