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Review – Peter Sansom, Careful What You Wish For

Carcanet Press, Alliance House, Cross St, Manchester M2 7AQ.   64 pp. £9.99


The language of Sansom’s poems is plain. Most of the scenes they present are very much scenes of ordinary life. Appearances are deceptive, though. In the first poem we come across this:

A huge willow
grows back into the current I rowboated on
one summer forty years ago, impossible,
the glass drop on the oar plunged back
into the heavy green present, this moment,
when a dalmation comes startling by
with its head in a vet cone like a song.

 A lesser poet might have given “impossible” an exclamation mark. Sansom tosses it away between … Continue Reading

Pound’s “The Garden”, Eliot’s “Preludes” – elegant superficiality and human depth

I’ve started looking at Pound again after a good many years in which I only read him occasionally and briefly. It all started with rereading Cantos II and IV in connection with some work on translations of Ovid. I found myself as gripped and excited by them as I was in my twenties. For me now, I think, going back to Pound essentially does mean going back the Cantos, and to Cathay.

It wasn’t always so; I didn’t read the Cantos till after I’d graduated and we didn’t “do” Pound at all at university. I came on him as something of … Continue Reading