"Defying Fate", like most of Maurice Careme's poetry, is marked by its fluency and ease of access. Here are poems that charm at first sight, short, seductive to the eye and ear, satisfyingly metrical and given to rhyme. Their subject matter is generally familiar to us - children, silence, death, God, the troubled mind - and is argued and developed in ways we can follow with sympathy; this is poetry to identify with, poetry of shared emotion and aesthetic satisfaction. In his introduction, Martin Sorrell calls Careme 'a poet of tact. What he says may be disturbing, but the way in which he says it remains well-mannered', and Christopher Pilling, in his sensitive and resourceful translation, conveys this absolutely. "Defying Fate", which, incidentally was published posthumously, is a fascinating introduction to this intriguing Belgian poet.