'What is a poet?' the title poem of this collection, Cosmos Mariner, asks and answers: 'word-peckers, rhyming jackdaws of the world'.
The Cosmos Mariner was a real ship which caught the attention of American poet Conrad Aiken (1889 - 1973) and piqued his interest further when, checking the shipping news, he found its destination was listed as 'unknown'. This trope reappears throughout the dark undertow of this collection which contains poems reflecting the distracted political times of today.
Against this, gentler poems such as The Cleggan Sonnets and The Curve of Love show Harding's gift for capturing the fleeting moment of sight and sound and fixing them with a piercing simplicity that remains in the memory.