* You are viewing the archive for February, 2016

Picture Poetry

For me, one of the keenest sensuous pleasures in poetry is the active sense that patterns of sound and syntax and rhythm are emerging as I read, solidifying into what Ezra Pound called “a shape cut into time” (in longer poems it may be more like a series of shapes melting into each other). I’ve just realised that this is why most so-called shape poetry or picture poetry or concrete poetry does so little for me.

Sensing a shape cut into time involves a kind of mental shift that I’d guess depends on the coming together of different parts of the … Continue Reading

Grevel Lindop’s Lunar Park – review

Grevel Lindop, Luna Park, 80 pp, £9.99, Carcanet Press, Alliance House, Cross St, Manchester M2 7AQ

Luna Park is a generous gathering of poetry culminating in a prose piece on New Orleans four years after Hurricane Catriona. I found it hugely rewarding, though I have difficulty with Lindop’s faith in what his website refers to as “the ‘deep imagination’ – the place where our individual insight and creativity connect with universal archetypes and spiritual dimensions”. Sometimes I felt this faith gave a soft-centredness to the writing. More often it released and empowered an imaginativeness – using the word in a less … Continue Reading

Sarah Maguire, Almost the Equinox – Review

Sarah Maguire, Almost the Equinox: Selected Poems, 160 pp, £15.99, Chatto & Windus, 20 Vauxhall Bridge Rd, London SW1V 2SA

Everything in Maguire’s universe is alive and in movement. She animates not only flowers and trees but the stone of a wall, pebbles on a beach, roads muscled with water in the rain.

Everything is connected too; her vision sweeps through space and time, from the abyssal ocean floor to the stars, from the Eocene to the present day. But because she sees everything in movement these connections are fluid and unstable, and her imagination is caught by the way things diverge … Continue Reading