The malarkey is over in the back of the car – As soon as you turn your back, time slips. The humdrum present has become the precious, irrecoverable past. The ways in which the present longs for the past, questions it, tries to get in touch with it and stretches the power of memory to its limits, are central to this collection by Helen Dunmore. Joseph Severn recalls Keats hurling a bad dinner out onto the steps of the Piazza di Spagna; the glamour of John Donne’s portrait ‘taken in shadows’ seduces a new generation; the dead assert their right to walk through the imaginations of the living – These are poems and stories of loss and extraordinary rediscovery. The Malarkey was Helen Dunmore’s last poetry book before her final collection Inside the Wave (2017). It brings together poems of great lyricism, feeling and artistry.