Does history tell stories? Yes, if the poet listens carefully. Elizabeth Jennings listens carefully, through spiritual, emotional and mental turbulence. She has created an abidingly popular body of poetry, using traditional forms with experimental vigour, keeping her spirit attuned to her art and language. Her vocation is praise, as a lover praises the things made, the makers and the maker. New Collected Poems incorporates her award winning 1986 Collected Poems, adding from the poems she wrote in the next fifteen years. In that time she found new themes and styles, exploring by means of the verse-essay, the extended sequence, the epistle and love elegy. When experience is extreme, poetry for her is never exorcism, always sacrament, a sharing, a way back form the edge, not over it. As a critic in Every Changing Shape she insisted on continuities in the language if poetry, its contingencies. 'Poets work upon and through each other,' she declared. Within her own work these continuities are brilliant are brilliantly in evidence.