Goodwin's skill, in this and other poems, is to merge the natural, physical world with the sexual, spiritual and personal human one. The poem "Bangs" is similar in its intent, though it doesn't work quite as well as "Land's Send", tipping slightly, as it does, into bathos; though “Bangs” is still an effective poem, somehow managing to turn the subject matter – the speaker’s brother putting on a firework display – into a dark, almost mystical happening.
As mentioned, there's a homage to Peter Redgrove, and Goodwin does incorporate elements of Redgrove's style and sensibility, and is equally hard to classify in terms of the contemporary scene. The book comes with an endorsement by Penelope Shuttle, and there's a connection there I think, though Shuttle's work has a lighter touch and is less intense than Goodwin's.
This being a first collection, there’s naturally a little unevenness. In 'Frightened in the Gap' for example, the persona intrudes into the poem in the way that it does in much British anecdotal poetry, and Goodwin has a weakness for rounded-off endings in this same style. But these are minor blemishes, and overall, there's great potential here for an abstract verse which can encompass complexity, but which is offset by a solidity of language and alliterative rhythms. The tension throughout the collection is between, on one hand, the demands of language as an abstract, musical entity, and on the other hand, the demands of a fictive persona, the 'I' (or sometimes 'we/you'). Goodwin handles this tension pretty well most of the time. It would be easy for poetry like this to slip into a New Age vagueness, but Goodwin avoids this by the concrete nature of his imagery, as well as by the solidity of the language and by an attention to form.
The quality of the final poem 'Own Words' seems to suggest that by the end of this collection, the poet is ready to strike out into new territory; a suggestion perhaps of where he might go next.