In this book of poetry Tom Petsinis responds to a series of steles (marble gravestones), which the Ancient Greeks set up in memory of departed family members. His admiration of these remarkable works began in his youth, and now, in his maturity, it has been channelled into the present collection. At a time when sculptors were creating larger-than-life gods and goddesses in all their ethereal splendour, the same chisels, still warm with divinity, depicted humanity at its most vulnerable, in homely scenes tender and serene. The poet enters each stele and captures the pathos and restrained sorrow in verse that’s equally constrained, yet moving in its melancholy lyricism. His poetry is that of the telling detail: hands clasping in farewell, an inclined profile, a presented jewellery box, a dove pressed to the chest – gestures that says so much about love, loss and letting go.