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.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

"Natural Mechanical" by J.O. Morgan, (CB Editions, 2009)

Andrew Motion said it's "wonderful". Simon Armitage described it as "Remarkable". It won Aldeburgh's "first poetry collection" prize in 2009, chosen unanimously by judges David Constantine, Mimi Khalvati and Michael Laskey from a shortlist which also included Sian Hughes's "The Missing".

It starts with an Apologia whose 3rd paragraph reads "That though the narrative is poetic in form and structure, the work as a whole is presented primarily as a biographical sketch, with the manner of its presentation secondary to that aspect". It hits a blind-spot for me. As bio it's nothing special. For atmosphere I prefer The Crumb Road by Maitreyabandhu. For immersion and poetic effect I much prefer So many ways to begin by Jon McGregor. The best bits (e.g. the duck-dancing) seem laboured. The fox episode was good except for the gratuitous line-breaks. By p.26 I was thinking about cutting my losses. But I battled on. I reckon you get about 4 decent anecdotes for £7.50.

Other reviews

No comments:

Post a Comment