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.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

"Gift Horses" by Simon Rae (Enitharmon , 2006)

He won the National Poetry Competition in 1999 and came 2nd in 1996. Other poems have appeared in the TLS, Poetry Review, etc. Pages 11-56 of this £8.95 book have poems - 20p/page. Poems like "The Lane" (4 lines) don't merit repeated readings. His metaphors are rather hit-and-miss. On p.13 for example he has

  • "the bullet passed through ... like a presidential motorcade tearing through slums on the way to the airport"
  • "an eye unblinking as justice"
  • "prayer, God's junk mail"

The 3rd is ok, but the other 2 creak. The unevenness of the metaphors continues through the book - "shaking his loneliness/out like a tablecloth"; "like a claims assessor/ after a fire/ supposedly caused/ by faulty wiring"; "plunging after the carrot/ of breath".

I liked "Forensic" and "Believed" (1st line - "There's a missing person in everyone") along with parts of "Hook" and "Cavalier".

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