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True to the God in You

“True to the God in You” by Harry Matthews is a profound collection of poems that dives deep into the exploration of self, the divine, and the intricate relationship between them. Matthews’ work is a blend of spiritual introspection and vivid imagery, evoking a strong sense of connection between the individual self, the collective human experience, and the divine.

The collection starts with a powerful preface, setting the tone for a journey of self-realisation and spiritual awakening. Matthews skilfully intertwines themes of strength, loyalty, courage, and sacrifice, presenting them as essential components in the pursuit of understanding and aligning with the divine.

Throughout the poems, Matthews exhibits a remarkable ability to draw from various religious and spiritual traditions, particularly Islamic mysticism. His references to the Quranic notions of love and mercy provide a fresh perspective on these concepts, transcending traditional interpretations.

One of the most striking aspects of Matthews’ poetry is his use of natural imagery to depict spiritual and emotional states. This is evident in poems like “On the Pleasures of Sunbathing” and “On Conversing with Blackbirds,” where mundane activities or observations become metaphors for deeper spiritual truths.

The collection also delves into the human condition, exploring emotions such as love, grief, and defiance. Matthews shows a keen understanding of these experiences, always connecting them back to the overarching theme of divine presence and guidance.

In conclusion, “True to the God in You” is a compelling and thought-provoking collection that encourages readers to seek a deeper understanding of themselves and their place in the divine scheme. Matthews’ poetic voice is both unique and universal, making this collection a valuable addition to contemporary spiritual literature.

The Lost Shadow of Things

“The Lost Shadow of Things” by Harry Matthews is a captivating collection of poetry that delves into the depths of human emotion, exploring themes of love, loss, conflict, and the complexities of the human psyche. The poems, characterised by their rich imagery and profound insights, offer a journey through various landscapes of the heart and mind.

Final Warning is a powerful opening to the collection, immediately immersing the reader in a world of emotional turmoil and defiance. The poet’s use of vivid imagery to convey feelings of anger and frustration is striking. The lines “If you crowd my peace, teeth gnashing in anger, / I will muster the last of my strength” are particularly impactful, illustrating the poet’s desperation and readiness to confront his adversaries.

Dawn of the Holy Cloud shifts to a more ethereal and introspective tone. The poem beautifully juxtaposes the natural world with the inner tumult of the speaker. The imagery of “Lightning carves the moistened air, / A paradox of fire and mist” creates a vivid picture of internal conflict and transformation.

Bottoms-Up offers a more hopeful perspective, focusing on renewal and the transformative power of love. The poem’s optimistic tone is encapsulated in the lines “It’s a cleansing of pain, a revival of memory, / Yet, what remains is not merely a recollection, / But a transformation.”

The Neo-Platonic Cave Philosopher stands out for its philosophical depth, exploring the complex relationship between reality and perception. The poem skilfully intertwines classical references with personal introspection.

Toward the Peak of Parnassus: is a poignant piece, touching on themes of support and understanding. The imagery of being “crowned with white roses” and seeking comfort in the Muses’ grace is particularly evocative. The poet creates a sanctuary of comfort and healing. The imagery of being crowned with white roses and seeking solace from the Muses adds a classical and serene touch to the poem.

Wispily Chronicling the Pizazz is notable for its whimsical and slightly surreal imagery. The playful tone, alongside references to academic and fantastical elements, creates a unique narrative style.

The Dolphin Race Fiasco is a narrative-driven piece that beautifully captures an interaction with nature and the unexpected. The encounter with the whale and the subsequent introspection of the speaker add layers of depth to the poem.

The Paladin’s Creed uncovers the archetype of the Paladin, blending elements of chivalry, spirituality, and heroism. The vivid imagery and strong narrative voice make this a compelling read.

Harry Matthews’ “The Lost Shadow of Things” is a profound and beautifully crafted collection, each poem brings its unique voice and style, creating a diverse and engaging reading experience. The poet deftly navigates a range of emotions and themes, from introspection and philosophical musing to vivid storytelling and nature imagery. Indeed, the poet’s skill in weaving intricate images and metaphors creates a mesmerising tapestry of words that stays with the reader long after the last page is turned. The collection as a whole is a testament to the poet’s versatility and depth, offering readers a rich and varied poetic journey.

The Lost Shadow of Things

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Harry Matthews (31 Dec. 2020)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 106 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1838349847
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1838349844
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 12.85 x 0.64 x 19.84 cm


“Woodwose” is a collection that looks at the Woodwose, an archetypal figure representing untamed, natural instinct and spirituality. The preface describes the Woodwose as a wild, hairy creature living in the woods, embodying ancient Greek ‘thymus’ or spiritedness. It suggests that modern society’s suppression of this wild, natural aspect leads to imbalance and spiritual sickness. The Woodwose symbolises a connection to nature and instinct, contrasting with society’s emphasis on science, rationality, and materialism.

The literary style of “Woodwose” is varied, encompassing both prose and poetry, with themes revolving around nature, spirituality, and the human psyche. Poems like “Since I’m addicted to you,” “Pericles,” “The Night we met,” and others, explore intense emotions, spiritual reflections, and a profound connection with nature. These pieces often juxtapose human experiences with natural elements, suggesting a deep, intrinsic link between humans and the natural world.

The collection frequently touches upon themes of love, struggle, transformation, and the pursuit of spiritual enlightenment. Poems such as “What was once unhealed was disclosed,” “How to look forward to the rocky bluff,” and “Your indwelling spark from the third heaven speaks,” reflect on personal growth, inner conflicts, and the journey towards spiritual awakening.

“Woodwose” also incorporates elements of folklore, myth, and symbolism. For instance, poems like “Remaining in the land of sorrow” and “Is this the young man’s shortest precept?” use imagery and allegory to convey complex emotional and spiritual states, often blending the mystical with the everyday.

The collection’s tone ranges from contemplative and introspective to passionate and intense. It invites readers to consider deeper aspects of existence, such as the balance between nature and civilisation, the inner wilderness of the human psyche, and the pursuit of truth and authenticity in a materialistic world.

In summary, “Woodwose” is a rich, multifaceted work that combines poetry and prose to explore the theme of the wild, natural self versus societal norms and constraints. It offers a profound reflection on human nature, spirituality, and our connection to the natural world, encouraging readers to embrace their inner Woodwose – the untamed, instinctual part of themselves.



Reviewing these poems, one encounters a rich tapestry of emotion, introspection, and philosophical exploration. They range from the melancholic and introspective to the powerful and socially critical, reflecting a deep engagement with both personal and broader human experiences.

Epigraph (John Keats, Hyperion: A Fragment, Book III. (1819))

This excerpt from Keats’s “Hyperion” resonates with a profound sense of melancholy and existential questioning. The speaker feels weighed down by an inexplicable sadness, yearning for a lost sense of freedom and purpose. Keats’s use of language and imagery captures a deep sense of longing and the pain of unrealised potential.

The Great Physician

This poem explores themes of longing, fulfilment, and the search for meaning in life. The imagery of driving through a storm towards a lake symbolises a journey through turmoil towards peace or clarity. The poem’s conclusion, suggesting that true resolution comes through a form of metaphorical death, hints at the idea of rebirth or transformation as a path to overcoming inner conflicts.


This poem is a complex meditation on divinity, knowledge, and the human condition. The references to a ‘super brain’, ‘Divine Holograms’, and the ‘Central Sun’ are particularly evocative, suggesting a search for a higher understanding or connection. The poem grapples with the nature of God and the human quest for enlightenment, blending scientific and spiritual imagery in a compelling way.

Dark Fire

“Dark Fire” delves into the intensity of passion and love, using vivid imagery to describe a deep and consuming relationship. The poem transitions from joyous celebration to a darker, more reflective tone, questioning the lasting impact of such intense emotions. The use of contrasting images like ‘bright burning firework’ and ‘dark fire’ effectively captures the complexities of love and desire.

You’re Still End

This poem reflects on identity, destiny, and the inexorable march towards an end, possibly death. It speaks to the shared human condition, the unavoidable nature of change, and the search for meaning in the face of these realities. The poem’s sombre tone suggests a resignation to fate, while also acknowledging the power of human emotions and experiences.


Here, the poet offers a critical view of societal structures and class distinctions, using the term ‘chavs’ to represent a marginalised group. The poem seems to critique both societal views of this group and the group’s own internal struggles. The imagery of ‘hooded monks’ and ‘dark-skinned and cold’ individuals suggests a complex interplay between societal perceptions and personal identity.

Striving in the Path of God

This poem explores themes of moral judgment, societal control, and the struggle between higher ideals and base instincts. The imagery of ‘invisible policemen’ and the ‘edifice teeters’ suggests a conflict between societal order and personal freedom. The poem’s intense and sometimes violent imagery reflects a deep engagement with the challenges of living a moral life in a complex world.

Overall, these poems by Harry Matthews offer a rich exploration of human emotion, existential struggle, and the quest for meaning. They blend personal introspection with broader social commentary, using vivid imagery and powerful language to engage the reader on multiple levels.


  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Harry Matthews (29 Dec. 2020)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 78 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1838349812
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1838349813
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 12.85 x 0.48 x 19.84 cm


This is a collection of poems where words dance between the profound and the ethereal, “Twynd” by Harry Matthews emerges as a collection that transcends the ordinary. The title itself, a lexical curiosity, sets the tone for a journey through language, history, and emotion. Rooted in the English language as the longest word without traditional vowels, ‘Twynd” serves as a metaphor for the unique and the rare, much like the poems contained within these pages.

As readers delve into this collection, they will find themselves traversing diverse landscapes – from the introspective depths of ‘Belle Vue’ to the historical echoes in ‘Diddlebury.’ Each poem is a world unto itself, yet together they weave a tapestry rich in imagery and emotion.

Highlights of this collection include: ‘Blue Bell,’ a poetic testament to resilience, where nature’s simple beauty becomes a profound metaphor for human strength and endurance; ‘Chosen,’ which soars in spiritual realms, exploring freedom and elevation from earthly confines to celestial expanses; the historical narrative of ‘Diddlebury,’ paints a vivid portrait of a village where time moves in whispers and every stone holds a story; ‘Halcyon,’ a piece where mythology and nature merge, offers a story of love, loss, and the enduring power of legends.

‘Otter’ by Matthews is a mesmerising six-part poem that elegantly captures the otter’s essence, celebrating its grace and connection with nature. The poem vividly portrays the otter’s life through exquisite imagery: from its sleek movement, described as “muscles rippling like liquid silk,” to its enchanting nocturnal swims under a moonlit sky, “a silent ballet under the stars.” It delves into the otter’s sensory world with lines like “With a connoisseur’s tongue, he savours his catch,” and reflects on the profound, almost mystical bond between human and animal, “In your touch, a squeak of delight, an echo of the wild.” The line, “Your essence, small-clawed navigator of life’s undulations, teaches joy in simplicity.” – beautifully encapsulates the essence of the otter and its life lessons for humans. Through these snapshots, Matthews not only showcases the otter’s beauty and adaptability but also imparts life lessons on simplicity and joy. This poem stands as a vivid testament to the untouched splendour of the natural world.

‘Kingfisher’ stands as a metaphor for purposeful living, drawing parallels between the keen, focused existence of the kingfisher and human aspirations. Matthews uses the bird as a symbol of clarity and direction, encouraging a contemplative approach to life. The poem resonates with anyone seeking a deeper meaning in the everyday. “Like the kingfisher, perched in silent watch, / Not in idleness, but in keen anticipation; / A mind crystalised in purpose.”

‘Confirmation’ dives into the complex journey of maturing and self-discovery. The poem navigates through the trials of youth, rebellion, and the eventual emergence of personal identity. Matthews’ exploration of the internal conflicts faced during the transition to adulthood is both poignant and relatable. “In the shadow of elders, he finds a twisted sanctuary, / Echoing the very bonds he loathes, a paradox of revolt.”

In ‘Expect the Unexpected,’ Matthews speaks to the heart of the adventurous and the resilient. The poem serves as a reminder of the unpredictability of life and the potential within to adapt and grow. It’s an uplifting piece, encouraging readers to embrace the unexpected twists and turns of their personal journeys. “Your journey is to new lands, / Where dormant strengths awaken, / Stirring from their deep slumber.”

‘Drømmeland’ takes readers on a whimsical journey through dreams and memories. The poem is a celebration of youth and the enduring spirit of joy and wonder. Matthews’ evocative language and vibrant imagery create a dream-like atmosphere that lingers in the mind long after reading. “Travels in Dreamland, / Beyond the possible and known. / The wave crashing on the beach, / A young man laughing.”

‘By the River Severn By Night’ is a serene and contemplative piece, reflecting on nature’s beauty and its capacity to evoke deep, introspective thought. Matthews’ description of the landscape around the River Severn is both picturesque and profound, capturing the tranquillity of nature and its subtle teachings. “In the shadow of Wrekin’s rise, under a winter sky, liberated yet laden with wisdom, the sun shares its silent sermon.”

These poems from “Twynd” further demonstrate Harry Matthews’ remarkable range as a poet. His ability to weave together elements of nature, personal growth, and deep contemplation creates a collection that is both diverse and cohesive, offering something for every reader who ventures into its pages.

This collection is recommended for readers who seek poetry that challenges and comforts, that reflects the complexities of the human experience and the nuanced beauty of the world around us. It is a journey for those who appreciate the power of words to convey the inexpressible and to capture the fleeting moments of life.

“Twynd” is not just a collection of poems; it is an odyssey through varied emotional landscapes. Matthews masterfully blends historical depth with personal introspection, mythological echoes with stark realism, creating a symphony of words that resonate with the soul.

What emerges in “Twynd” is an invitation to explore the corners of your heart and the edges of your imagination, guided by the lyrical prowess of Harry Matthews. Embrace this journey, and let these poems be your compass in the ever-unfolding map of human experience.


In his debut poetry collection, “Sonarification,” Harry Matthews explores the profound parallels between the world of underwater sonar navigation and the poetic process. This collection is an exploration of the echoes and reverberations of human experience, resonating through the depths of memory, imagination, and the subconscious.

The concept of Sonarification, as Matthews presents it, is a metaphor for the poet’s journey. Just as sonar emits sound waves to explore and understand the unseen depths of the ocean, Matthews uses his poetry to navigate the often uncharted waters of human emotion and experience. Each poem is a ‘ping’ sent out into the depths of the psyche, with the echoes that return painting a vivid picture of the poet’s internal landscape.

The collection is divided into sections, each resonating with a different frequency of the human experience. From the infrasonic rumbles of deep, unspoken emotions to the ultrasonic clarity of sharp, conscious thought, Matthews captures a spectrum of feelings and thoughts that often remain submerged beneath the surface of everyday life.

Sonarification also touches on the impact of human technologies on the natural world, particularly marine life. The poems echo the dissonance between the natural biosonar of dolphins and whales and the disruptive frequencies of man-made sonar. Matthews draws a poignant parallel here, suggesting that just as sonar can disorient marine life, so too can the cacophony of modern life drown out the inner voice and truth of human beings.

This collection is a journey into the depths, encouraging readers to listen to the echoes of their own inner sonar. Matthews’ poetry serves as a guide, leading readers through the dark waters of the unknown and the unexpressed, towards a greater understanding of themselves and the world around them.

Sonarification is not just a collection of poems; it’s an invitation to listen more closely to the world within and around us, to discover what lies beneath the surface, waiting to be understood and explored. Harry Matthews, with his striking imagery and profound insight, emerges as a significant new voice in contemporary poetry.

  • Title: Sonarification
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Harry Matthews (24 Dec. 2020)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 126 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1838349804
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1838349806
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 12.85 x 0.76 x 19.84 cm

Review: Sonarification (Poems I-XXII)

Review: Sonarification (Poems XXII-XLVIII)

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