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.

Monday, 11 June 2012

"Glad of these times" by Helen Dunmore (Bloodaxe, 2007)

I prefer her stories. The most dominant technique that she employs here is repetition. Nearly half the poems irregularly repeat. In particular the final line repeats an earlier one. Of course, there's nothing wrong with that per se, but I think here it's over-used

9city lilies3
10cross[ing] the [long] field4
11for the10
12Don't count John4
13the other side of the sky's dark room3
14the flowers that3
15The grey lilo4
17if you were5
21weary of blossoming2
24glad of these/my times5
27are made from the dust of stars3
28the lovely bulb of your roundness2
30you could use his wing as a fan2
32[we heard] dolphins whistling7
35Surely it's not too much to ask2
37on our raft2
38Wall is the [holy] book3
42through the world's cold2
48I dreamed [that] my love4
54a wash of stars2
55the moon [as it] voyages3

It's no coincidence that many of these repeated phrases involve flowers and night skies - they're common themes. I most like "Violets" (a stanza too long), 'Indeed we are all made from the dust of stars', and "Lemon and Stars"

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