Poetic song has been mothballed, shelved, axed. At least, that’s what most of us thought. In the contemporary climate of ironic distance and deconstructive hesitation, I wondered if an earnest cry would ever find itself into a poem again. Andy Nicholson’s poetry responds directly to this inquiry with an adamant “yes”. Against the grain of much innovate writing, Nicholson’s work tackles powerful emotions by relying on familiar images. The first poem presented here, “Lenya to Weill, 1928”, offers us a sunrise, bass notes, birds. Nothing out of the ordinary. By the time we reach the poem’s conclusion, however, these familiar experiences become charged with a second, latent energy; suddenly, the emotions in the poem (let’s say a frozen yogurt swirl of excitement and longing) are felt rather than staged. We have joined the chorus.