Marion Starling Boyer’s The Sea was Never Far functions as oral history, dramatic monologue, personal mythology, biography framed by white space, and a novel in verse—but thankfully, it is poetry, salt-tinged and music-lush as the sea. Each poem is an act of lyric ingenuity, offering up a particular voice within the realm of a particular place and time, revived by Boyer’s attention and magic.
Marion Boyer cannot exist. No one person could give such voice to fishermen, millers, widows, thatchers, herring girls, compass adjustors. An entire community rises from the pages of The Sea Was Never Far, not as pale and whispering ghosts, but as individuals with nicknames and failings and skills and stories that invade your head and become your memories. Whether Marion Boyer is ventriloquist or necromancer or medium, it is certain that she is a poet. ~Susan Blackwell Ramsey
Main Street Rag 2019
With an eye for vivid and unusual detail and an ear for the dialect of Norfolk fishermen, Marion Starling Boyer’s poems draw me in so completely I feel I’ve joined her family reunion, where stories are retold in celebration and regret. Quietly shimmering, and sometimes in the unmistakable rich voices of the men, women, and boys living in a village on the North Sea, these poems capture their cold, hard, beautiful lives. ~Kathleen McGookey