Her perspective in Ox-Eye – the term for a small cloud presaging a storm – is one of apprehension in poems relating to personal and social change. Ranging from her native east coast of America to her adopted home on the south coast of England, these incisive but often amused poems question how we view past and present, dismantling obsolete nostalgia, and casting a critical eye on what we wish for and what may happen instead.
Ox-Eye is her fifth collection from Bloodaxe, appearing 14 years after her previous book, The Upshot: New & Selected Poems, which included the new poems of The Divided (2008), along with selections from her first three critically acclaimed earlier collections, Sunset Grill (1993) and Timing (1997) – both Poetry Book Society Recommendations – and The School of Night (2004).
"Anne Rouse’s poems are watchful and amused, sardonic and appalled. They are also in the best sense political: the big picture of our whole society informs her miniatures of city life where dossers and shopping jostle for attention alongside love and death." - Ruth Padel & Sean O’Brien, PBS Bulletin