Tony Harrison’s filial sonnets, from his major ongoing sonnet sequence The School of Eloquence (1978-), are widely regarded as among the most moving poems in the language, and have conversely been criticized for sentimentality. 1 Blake Morrison
Richard H. Weisberg
not going to happen while Antonio loiters. Act V’s use of ‘surety’ in Merchant is elaborated in a superb late sonnet. Attend to the disastrous unfolding of events in Sonnet 134, a legalistic poem where the Shakespearean voice rejects the whole idea
Barry Cole, John Greening, and Richard Kell
After Dining Out In May On Being Diagnosed BARRY COLE
Two Poems From Iceland Requiem JOHN GREENING
The Progress Of Life The Progress Of Art RICHARD KELL
Tremors: New and Selected Poems by Andrew Sant (Melbourne: Black Pepper Press, 2004) 258pp. ISBN 1-87604-4-500, £9.99.
Defying the Odds: Selective Poems by David Tipton (Sow’s Ear Press, 2006), 216 pp. ISBN-10: 0-95432-481-1, £9.99.
Seamus Heaney’s ‘The Ministry of Fear’, and Derek Walcott’s ‘Homecoming: Anse La Raye’, written within a few years of each other, bear some striking resemblances, which – together with their inevitable differences – illuminate the specific national situations from which their poetry emerges, and the differing ways each poet takes to negotiate or make the most of their particular histories. Heaney’s poem is the first in a sequence of six poems called ‘Singing School’, published in North in 1975; while Walcott’s poem first appeared in The Gulf and Other Poems in 1969 – both collections in which the pressures of local histories, and the demands of dramatic and immediate political events, are explicitly registered. In each case the poem is concerned with the difficulties caused, and the creative possibilities made available, by the distance between personal history and available poetic tradition – though this is a story told in a personal register, as autobiography, and told with varying degrees of ruefulness, sadness, and comedy. Both poems tell the story of the ‘growth of the poet’s mind’, and, indeed, Wordsworth is the explicit startingpoint for Heaney, whose poem systematically rewrites The Prelude, insofar as that can be done in a poem of such smaller compass. But Walcott also takes on one of the great poets and translates him into local terms – a project to be realised at much greater length some twenty years later with the writing of Omeros.
Hardy and the Boer War
Thomas Hardy’s striking Boer War poem, ‘The Souls of the Slain’, suggests a number of possible readings: formalist, historical and philosophical, readings which complement and contradict each other in their framings of this dissonant text. The poem may be identified formally as an elegy which functions by transgressing its own genre. At the outset the poet conjures up an ominous and elegiac seascape
This book The Water's Edge is about meetings of words and images. The poems included are by contemporary poets: Seamus Heaney; Paul Muldoon; Geoffrey Hill; Jamie McKendrick; Don Paterson; Michael Longley; Stephen Romer; Gabriel Levin; Robin Robertson and Jennie Feldman. Common to all is a sense of water as an element primary in the emotional or intellectual consciousness of the writer. The images are not illustrations to the poems nor are the poems descriptive of the images. They are placed in tandem, sharing a common response to the primacy of the element of water.
Anne Stevenson and John Haynes
Of Science Poems edited by David Morley and Andy Brown (Tonbridge: Worpole Press, 2001) ISBN 0 9530947 4 X paperback £6.00
Omm Sety by John Greening (Shoestring Press, 2001) ISBN 1 899549 51 X £5.95
Graham Holderness, Sue Dymoke, Simon Curtis, Michael Bartholomew-Biggs, Stuart Flynn, Rennie Parker, and Lawrence Sail
The Invisible Man GRAHAM HOLDERNESS
On Lake Oscanawa American Sound SUE DYMOKE
Back Home … SIMON CURTIS
Battle Training MICHAEL BARTHOLOMEW-BIGGS
Mandatory Post-Colonial Poem STUART FLYNN
Only Resting Trading Up RENNIE PARKER
Cutting the Bay Hedge LAWRENCE SAIL