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 February 2015

"Into You" by Andrew Greig (Bloodaxe, 2001)

In the Acknowledgements it says "I thank the Scottish Arts Council for the fact that for once after many years of support I have no need to thank them".

Here are 2 examples of the formats (short-line and prose) used for 2 similarly lyrical endings

  • In the middle of the night
    I grow heavy and ache -

    I could be among
    a summer orchard

    ripening at the tip
    of a branch of your love
  • There are days now I feel myself a field spread open to the wind. Where she grazes all is renewed and joy is valid on the earth we will return to, here in the body's each trembling blade (p.28)

Such lyrism is but one of his voices. Here's something more bookish from "That Summer" -

'I love cats, causes and analysis.
This other love you urge is suspect,
founded on the bourgeois construct
of the self, who as we know
is not Mrs, Miss or Ms - but myth.

This is how "In Borderlands" ends -

The kettle steams, for a moment you ride
high in the gale of I am
You say a name and it goes out
on wavelengths Marconi never dreamed of.

This is how "Angels" begins - "Bred by Wenders out of Rilke/ they turn up everywhere/ impassive or smirking slightly/ invariably handsome// soaring above the marketplace/ hanging round your bedroom// You might shut your door against them/ yet they schmooze through walls and ceilings/ like metaphysical dry rot// * // sometimes you need to step outside/ what does exist/ into what does not// look back and see it whole " which seems rather pedestrian to me, despite the attempt to perk it up with line-breaks. "Royal Visit" and "Norman's Goodnight" seems too slight to be worth the effort.

So all in all I won't be looking out for other books by him, though I might be impressed by a lyrical piece by him if I see it in a magazine.

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