Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Reading Matters

I finally got hold of David Challoner's Collected Poems on Monday - by ordering it from my local library. I think I'll do more of this kind of thing - ordering books throught the library. That way, more books will be available to more people, and instead of paying £18.99, it'll only cost me 50p. I have to take the book back or renew it; but when I've finished, others can read it.

I'm not sure what I think of him on the whole. But I'll reserve judgement for now.


I've been doing a lot of reading recently. Chris McCabe's The Hutton Enquiry is also on my list. He's a youngish poet, originally from London, who now lives in London. Very lively, with a political edge and a kind of spikiness that I don't often find in poetry. I don't mean by that that he's one of those Charles Bukowski wannabees always writing "from the street", though he does have a very urban feel to him. Again, I'll try and do something more in depth later.


I've been trying to write as well. Half my poems these days seem to turn into unrhyming "sonnets" of one kind or another.


Then there's Lynette Roberts, who's proving to be a rather lovely find. What was it about the '40's that the Movement found so objectionable? There are a few characteristics: the use of the "I" for instance in lines like "I, in my intricate image..." (Dylan Thomas) where the "I" almost becomes a floating signifier, a sailor lost in the sea of selves. Then there's the seeming over the top image of lines like "Shall I make my disasters clear?" (Nicholas Moore) where the Movement poets wanted to return after the war to a kind of reticence about feelings.

It's good to see them republished, though. It feels like a gap in English poetry (a whole decade's gap) is finally being filled.

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