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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 17 August 2010
A marvellous, thoroughly enjoyable book. The poems are all short, with the exception of the first, 'Dragon Talk' itself. Some are playful ; many have surprising or entertaining little twists at the end. The last group ('Next') include poems which are personal and autobiographical and two of these('That Butterfly', in memory of her mother, and 'Outside the Crematorium') are very moving. But all of these poems are the work of a master writer who knows exactly what she is doing. Highly recommended.
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on 4 October 2011
Well, I'm a Friend of Fleur too, so I feel I have to throw in my counterweight, particularly as Waterbaby admits both to loving her earlier work and that reviews are inevitably subjective. Yes, these are child's-eye-view but they also reflect the aged's procession back into, mulling over and seeking sustenance from those formative years, and the often unstated interplay between the next-generation-but-one and one's own younger self. And I'm just so grateful for anything more from Fleur. Like Margaret Atwood she is fiercely intelligent but with a twinkle. See her read if (and while) you can
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on 19 October 2010
I've always loved Fleur Adcock's poetry for its simple language and clarity of thought - seemingly ordinary words, showing us to something important or touching. Perhaps here, the poet is trying to use language as simple as a child's to describe childhood experiences. But without any of the gentle adult insight we expect from her, the poems fall far short of satisfying. Some - 'Lollies', 'Food', 'Glass' are short, plain descriptions and nothing more. Some even have an air of the spoof poet E J Thribb - glitterwax, apparently, was 'silky as poison, the plasticine of the gods. / Yet the world has decided to live without it.' Reviews are always subjective and other readers may find the collection much better than I did, but I would recommend her Collected Poems as a much better representation of her talents. Poems, 1960-2000
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