Literary reviews by Tim Love.
Warning: Rather than reviews, these are often notes in preparation for reviews that were never finished, or pleas for help with understanding pieces. See Litref Reviews - a rationale for details.

Wednesday, 30 October 2002

"Approximately Nowhere" by Michael Hoffman (Faber and Faber, 1999)

He has the kind of credentials that impress me, I've been impressed by some of his poems published in "Poetry" magazine, and he's highly regarded by some people that I highly regard, but though there's no sloppiness I couldn't find that much to admire. "Tea For My Father" is the first paragraph of a story (early McEwan, say). "Vecchi Versi" and "Masque" are beyond me. "The Adulterer" and "June" are one-idea poems that outstay their welcome. "Fairy Tale" has "the window sash propped open on a splint of wood/like a tired eye on a matchstick" and "It struck me I was exactly the person/to write the life of the pink shopping bag/hovering irresolutely/on the triangular intersection below." but little else. I like most of the free-wheeling "Fou Rire" and "Summer". Some of the longer poems (e.g. "Litany") end up being mood pieces - lists of descriptive lines.

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