In the collection, the poet, Roubauld paints a view of grief, reflecting and being haunted by the death of his wife, Alec Cleo, who died at the young age of 31.
Some of these poems are quite raw but they transcend being simply confession by the sheer artistry. Much experimental poetry tends to be cold or dry; here we have someone experimenting with meaning and words because of the difficulty of words to hold grief, to express loss, to give oneself a will to live. Knowing that words can't quite accomplish these tasks gives the poems a haunted feeling, as if they were reminders of what can only be lived.
There is a great diversity of techniques and approaches in this book, including a lot of halts and silences that move in unexpected directions and surprising phrases.
The title phrase occurs multiple times throughout the collection, like an echoing voice, one such instance:
"Some thing black which closes in locks shut pure, unaccomplished"
The book also includes a collection of photographs by his wife, Alex Cleo, called some thing black and they clearly influenced some of what he wrote.
"I can not write about you with more truth then you have done"
I recommend this book wholeheartedly; one of the unique qualities it contains is its persistence in grief and its concrete emotionality:
"The phone will ring. The voice which the man who is alone because of a death will hear is not that of the woman he loves. It's some other voice, any voice. He will hear it. This does not prove he is alive."