some poetry, politics & what have you

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Tony Harrison is a poet who has written poems that sing, swing & kick. Poems that bite the hand that feeds him & then go for the arm. Not often, but enough that I might get curious as to what he's been up to lately. This year Penguin, celebrating 70 years as book publishers, have released 70 small paperbacks of approximately 60 pages each - one of those little books is Under the Clock by Tony Harrison. So what has he been up to lately? Nothing much good I must say. This is another batch of mostly rhymed, formal poetry with political themes. Iraq, of course, 9/11 of course, some private reminiscing he tries to give a wider appeal & so on & so forth. The main problem though, as I see it, is that this time, it doesn't sing, swing or kick. These poems sit down in the boat, they don't even nibble at a finger. This is the first book I've read by him which didn't produce a giggle, or a feeling that this I want to quote, or that. To put it bluntly: Penguin did not do Tony Harrison a service by accepting this book for publication


At 12:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Collected Poems comes out next year which contains unpublished material as well as the contents of all his other books. Being my favourite living poet who truly believes in the power of art and words to incite emotions, it is well-deserved. Can't Wait!


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