“The Day and Other Poems” develops and expands the explorations of Robert Wells’s previous collections, demonstrating a mature poet at the height of his craft. Meditating upon erotic and rural themes, it culminates in a poetic affirmation of the unending power of language. The collection, Wells’s first since 1999, consists of short, highly wrought poems divided into four sections: the first documents the poet’s experience as an Exmoor forester; the second is a sequence set in the Sabine hills in central Italy; the third section takes as its theme erotic friendship; and the miscellany of the fourth section mixes anecdote and satirical epigram with compacted memories of travel. The book is characterized by its various portrait-poems, which in their different ways address the opposition between the desire for openness and the desire for isolation. The power of language to illuminate realities is the overriding impression created by these poems, but it operates amid a play of light and shade, reserve and unreserve.