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.

Tuesday, 9 November 2004

"Hare Soup" by Dorothy Molloy (Faber and Faber, 2004)

Here's the start of "First Blood" from this "startling début" - Après-diner we sip anisette. You tell me your stories of paradise lost. I tell you of tennis-club hops, Auld Lang Sayne and a mistletoe kiss. Well, how many stanzas is that? How many lines? If you don't care, then this book might be for you. However, I suggest you read pages 13-15 before parting with your £9. Then read p.24: observe the form - even-numbered lines of each stanza are "short". Do you find the line-breaks expressive? Remember, you're paying for all that white space.

Faber take on few new poets nowadays, so it's a shame they singled out this one. Maybe there's a pamphlet of worthwhile poems here. A few poems (like that on p.53) manage to sustain their pace, but they tend to be short. The longer ones lack variety of conceptual structure (compare p.36 with p.37 for example, or look at those which use short refrains) or take ages to get to the point (see p.50).

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