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.

Friday, 1 April 2005

"Looking Through Letterboxes" by Caroline Bird (Carcanet, 2002)

I like "No One in the Waiting Room Looks Up". "I have eaten your parrot" is funny enough. "Passing the Time" is less so - sub-Hannah. "The Enclosure Act" is almost pretentious. It's hard to see how "Middle of the Road" and "Advertisement for the Lonely Heads Column" got published. "Pissed Off Phone Box" (like several other poems) are a bit hit-and-miss, combining dodgy lines with inspired touches ("in the yellow pages of my favourite book").

All in all, quite a range. Many of the harder, non-teachable aspects of poetry are well-handled. Those that aren't should be easy enough to fix - similes too pat; "Seven Ways of Looking at a Fire" 3 ways too long, etc.

The blurb wisely omits mentioning that the author was 15 when the book came out.

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