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5.0 out of 5 stars What's the feminine for virtuoso?, 7 Sep 2011
Simon Barrett "Il penseroso" (london, england) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Drives (Paperback)
Crikey - can these Irish write!

Stunning use of rhyme and half-rhyme (Alfred Hitchcock, Elizabeth Bishop - master classes in how to do it yet impossible to copy; Poem for New Year) in poems of utter seriousness and concision (I counted 2 poems longer than a sonnet, and one was a sestina) on apparently casual themes (biographical sketches, tourism - but you try writing ten lines on Paris - or Flynn's hometown Belfast). Accessible and quite devastating. You can take Tate Modern's 'thick crowds and..indifferent art' in two ways; Flynn sees today's barrenness unflinchingly ('I count 61 ingredients in my chicken sandwich') and, like all of us, takes her pleasures where she can - like Milos, whose 'crazed trilingual pass' in Bratislava 'didn't work'

Among such gold it's a case of picking out the clunkers - for my money the heavily underlined bathos of The Little Mermaid (though I'll know to avoid Copenhagen!); L.A. left her uninspired (perhaps a point in her favour - though as a poet isn't it her job to be inspired?) and N.Y. thoroughly disenchanted - but conversely this *does* inspire her, even the dumbing down of David Byrne. Try Brooklyn next time, is my advice. And I'd have avoided 'womb with a view' personally; I know it's a poor do if you can't be sentimental about a soon-to-be-born, particularly when it's your sister's(?), but as a way to end on a high note it's a bit of a cop-out
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Drives by Leontia Flynn (Paperback - 14 Aug 2008)
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