Category Archives: Poetry

A.E. Housman’s “A Shropshire Lad”

I read these 60 or do little lyrics yesterday as a birthday treat, and about two-thirds of the way through was convinced they were the best poems ever (but I wasn’t so sure by the end). So simple – regular … Continue reading

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Statius: “Achilleid”

This 1st-century AD Latin poet died after writing a book and a half of his epic on Achilles; intended no doubt to build on the success of his Thebaid, about the civil war between the sons of Oedipus Polynices and … Continue reading

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“Anabaseā€ by St-John Perse

The book in question is T.S. Eliot’s translation of this 1920 French poem, with the original text on facing pages. Also included are several prefaces and forewords from other editions, all translated into English. I bought it many years ago … Continue reading

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Poetry Review 104:2 Summer 2014

Philip Gross is always very interesting (e.g. Deep Field), so I was pleased that the first three poems in this edition were his. The first, “The Players” is a brilliantly subtle evocation of the causes and ramifications of the First … Continue reading

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John Stammers: Stolen Love Behaviour

A volume from 2005 which I think I received when I was in the Poetry Book Society. Hadn’t touched it. Definitely a voice new to me, and largely very successful. The usual few poems that I don’t understand [and about … Continue reading

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The Poetry of Birds, ed. Simon Armitage and Tim Dee

If you like poetry and birds, this book removes the hendiadys. Two engaging essays by the editors, and a wealth of poems from all sorts of poets on all sorts of birds. The highlight for me was discovering the poetry … Continue reading

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“The Human Chain” by Seamus Heaney

This, Heaney’s final collection, shows the poet at his most self-effacing, almost writing himself out of history, restricting his subject matter and themes to the narrowest, becoming a palimpsest for older, greater, thoughts to travel via his poems.

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