Arguing with Malarchy is full of voices. Tender, sinister, sad or cantankerous, they compel us to attend to their realities, the glimpsed depths of their stories, the distances they have travelled. Carola Luther’s poems are alert to the ways a life can be briefly snared in the turn of a phrase – or in the moment when language fails. She explores silences, absences, the unspoken communication between animals and human beings, the living and the dead, and the boundaries between what is remembered, forgotten or invented. In the book’s first part, a chronicle of mourning creates ‘the bare threads of tunes’ out of what is lost, and begins a new story. In the second part, Luther’s characters live in their language; ‘Keep talking,’ the old man tells Malarchy. We travel through elemental landscapes of sea and sky, shadows and wide savannahs that exist beyond language and sustain when words are silenced.