Customer Review

3.0 out of 5 stars 'Where was that Swedish shower advertised?', 3 Oct. 2011
This review is from: The Night Post: A New Selection (Salt Modern Poets) (Hardcover)
Apparently a quite different beast from his 2002 Cape selected - an achievement in itself - this is rather more, um, building-based, at least to start with. If much of the Cape collection tended to the disagreeably morbid, this - when it works - is pleasingly sinister. After a slow start with some fragmentary prentice work (I'm thinking, offcuts?) the zingers start to come - the sinister New Town, the elliptical Lili Marlene and Gifts, the tender The Ideal Home. The recurrence of certain themes or motifs, as with a visual artist, may or may not be significant: corpses and hearses; bats, crows, crabs, owls, goats, monkeys; blue, booze, the blind, children, poison, snow; cacti, Germany, gold, guns, phones. I can picture the thesis taking shape now (The Iconography of -). I find the cacti very significant. Human interaction is limited in the extreme: 'Forgive me if my invite's bounced'; the pathologies of New Year Party - brother informs on brother - or The Servant, actually a daughter; the woman in Whatever with two deaths on her conscience 'all/because of sex, love or whatever'. As in the Cape selection, the gentle intrusion of rhyme (Calais) comes as welcome relief. The marvellously sinister The Queue, a Magnus Mills novel in embryo, is for me the stand-out track ('that book./It's one of my favourites: The Weight/of a Corpse is Varied'(!) - I like that 'varied') but I think we must await the Final Mix -- or maybe two, his lighter pieces (some of his children's work is included here; The Stone Ship may have been a child's poem whose Magnus Mills side took over) and - what else? - Sweeney Agonistes. Till then, how about 101 Narrative (or Character) Poems, please, Faber, to include Sweeney and John Gallas; Carol Ann would do us proud
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4.0 out of 5 stars (4 customer reviews)
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Location: london, england

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