Enter, Fleeing review – a man going everywhere fast

It’s a challenge to keep up with Mark Ford’s restless poetic energy but well worth the effort

Nairobi, 1963; Lagos 1967; Chicago 1969; Colombo, Hong Kong, Bahrain, New York… Mark Ford’s poems could – several of them – be organised like an airport departure board. Born in Kenya, he had a peripatetic upbringing. There are sightings here of his mother – telling an unfazed Kenyan servant that President Kennedy has been shot, or chasing a thief in Lagos, unaware of how her own voice will sound, years later, in a poem: “How dare you!” she calls without irony.

There are poems about what it means to take leave of yourself – Mickey Finn describes, at entertainingly floundering length, the after-effects of having had a drink spiked, and your trainers and wallet stolen on a Spanish train. It seems fitting that Ford should, in his intelligent restlessness, turn out to ...