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on 3 March 2017
Truly evocative of a bygone tougher era. Beautifully written.
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on 5 February 2013
This is Montague's 1993 collection about his life as a boarder in St Patrick's school in wartime Armagh. It was then a diocesan seminary as well as a boarding and day school for Catholic boys, and these were the days before the 1947 Education Act gave poorer children the chance of this kind of schooling. A dubious benefit in some ways, according to the poems. He uses tighter forms than is his usual habit, because the intensely disciplined and restricted life of the school seemed to demand that. Nevertheless, the poems bounce along, powered by quiet rage at the stupid puritanism of the place, the denial of the body, the official refusal of ordinary human kindness. ' No fun like work' on the Dean's wall, beside his collection of canes.
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