A pocket horizon is an instrument used for navigation: a small, smooth, darkened glass providing a reflective surface from which to take bearings with a sextant, when one’s view at sea is shrouded in fog or mist, or when the true horizon cannot be seen. In Pocket Horizon, an array of objects drawn from the collections of the Whipple Museum in Cambridge and Wellcome Collection in London serve as points of navigation for the Nevada Street Poets. Pieces from a Masterclass with leading poet Don Paterson developed into the poems collected here.
Along the way, we glimpse stories and histories of models varied as horses’ teeth and a clockwork orrery depicting the universe. There are fragile, hand-made glass fungi, and the glass prism used by Newton in his ‘Crucial Experiment’. A parade of amputees marches the reader past a case full of artificial limbs, as one of the first clocks in Britain tolls the hour. A wave machine immerses us in the currents of human love, and votive models murmur questions from the past. Each poem is paired with artwork by Cassie Herschel-Shorland. Pocket Horizon is a book of excursions into the human mind and body, and the story of the world we feel compelled to map.