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Customer Review

3.0 out of 5 stars '..my friend the skeleton..' or, Depressed, moi?, 3 Oct. 2011
This review is from: Selected Poems (Cape Poetry) (Hardcover)
The morbidity and general anomie of the 1st two thirds are draining. 'Where is his dog now, where is it?'(His Dog) or the even bleaker (than a deathbed scene!) Melon Days ('That autumn the newspapers were numbing'). I suppose Never in Life would be a suitable addition to the corpus of corpse poems (see John Redmond's review of Michael Symonds Roberts' Corpus in Poetry Review 94/3) but after a while you lose the will to live. The sparing rhyme of A Daydream Ahead and The Aviary are the highlights and Symmetry is good sinister fun, but for the most part 'a green hat is blowing through Harvard Square/and no one is trying to catch it' - and why would they? But *then* at page 88 the whole tone surprisingly lightens (influence of Paul Durcan, perchance, namechecked on that very page?) and for the rest of the book we are in on the joke, which tends I suppose to the Gothic; among grisly ends without number is The End, perhaps the best burial poem ever. There's even some lip-smacking Dante (semi-rhyme again), though the tense of the last line troubles me - is that an Irishism?

When I want to be depressed I normally turn, with relish, to the short stories of Mary Lavin; now I can look out the latest Sweeney! If I want cheering up again I might turn to Gwyneth Lewis's searing yet feisty Hospital Odyssey or the anarchic-depressive Frank Kuppner or all manner of outrageous Americans. Who tend not to be depressive. Yet.
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Location: london, england

Top Reviewer Ranking: 8,980,294