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Christopher Reid, The Curiosities – Review

The Curiosities by Christopher Reid. Faber and Faber Ltd. 96 pp. £14.99 hardback.

I read The Curiosities straight through, enjoying the vividness of the stories and situations it presents, its urbanity, wit and formal inventiveness, then read it again much more slowly, lingering over the tensions and ambivalences of each separate poem. What I found surprising was that it responded equally well to both approaches.

Reading it straight through is easy; each poem slips down smoothly, without the need for major adjustments of approach or fresh efforts of engagement between them. This comes across as a book genuinely written as a whole … Continue Reading

Christopher Reid “The Chocolate” (from The Curiosities)

I enjoyed The Curiosities immensely and want to say something about one of its poems, “The Chocolate”, which you can read here.

Commenting on a poem like this really does feel like breaking a butterfly on a wheel.

I love the suave modulations of its tone, the skill with which Reid creates the voice of an imaginary speaker and the brilliantly sensitive way he suggests the surges and sudden ebbs in the speaker’s feelings and levels of confidence.

The speaker talks about developing an erotics of chocolate. That’s funny in itself, but only one part of the poem’s brilliantly comic microdrama. … Continue Reading