* You are viewing the archive for January, 2012

Linda France, You are Her; Katherine Gallagher, Carnival Edge: New and Selected Poems. Both published by Arc Publications

I wrote these reviews for Staple back in late 2010. I hope the magazine will appear soon and perhaps then it will be appropriate to take them off the website.

You are Her immediately engages the reader. It’s full of the instant pleasures given by brilliant sound patterning and imagery, evocative description, arresting single lines, formal inventiveness and an alert responsiveness to the world around the poet. Some of these things are easily illustrated. For example, the startling first line of the book is “When I woke up I was dead.” The third poem, “Waiting with my Yellow Dog”, is set … Continue Reading

Alice Oswald, A Sleepwalk on the Severn, lines 1 – 12

A Sleepwalk on the Severn kept coming into my mind while I was reading Memorial. It’s full of passages of extreme beauty and originality that I should have written about when I first read it. An overall review would be redundant now but I want to say something about the first twelve lines of the prologue:

Flat stone sometimes lit sometimes not
One among many moodswung creatures
That have settled in this beautiful
Uncountry of an estuary

Swans pitching your wings
In the reedy layby of a vacancy
Where the house of the sea
Can be set up quickly and taken down in an … Continue Reading