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.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

"Folly" by Mike Stocks (Herla, 2006)

This book of sonnets has puffs by Gerry Cambridge, Edwin Morgan, Timothy Murphy and George Szirtes. For me, too many of the pieces have telegraphed punchlines and simple plots described in relaxed language. An exception is "Describing a Horse" where the narrator watches a clapped-out nag. The poem ends with

It is a horse it is a horse it is
a horse it is a horse it is a horse
it is a horse it is a horse ... It is,

but not for long beneath the rain, the rowan.
There is an absence galloping the course
and overtaking horse rain tree me poem

Form-wise, p.44-45 add variation, with some stanzas replaced by 2 words. He gives himself some latitude regarding rhyme, generally keeping the language modern and conversational - prosey, even.

I liked "Bus Station in Winter", "What Fault Line?" and "Atkinson" but there needed to be many more poems of that ilk to make up for (say) the pieces of p.36-38. For most of the poems I'd prefer a prose paraphrase plus a quote or two.

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