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, 9 January 2016

"Poetry Salzburg Review, N.28" by Wolfgang Gortschacher (ed)

194 pages! There are 9 pages of bios and about 35 pages of articles and reviews, leaving space for many poets (Rae Armantrout, Vuyelwa Carlin, Piotr Florczyk, Kim Moore, Tom Raworth, etc), some of whom are represented by several poems. Most of the authors have had pamphlets or books published. A fair few are (or were) editors.

With so much poetry there's bound to be a variety of styles and quality. I didn't notice much end-rhyme (David Clarke used some) and there were few prose-formatted pieces. Some of the more doubtful pieces were written by those with impressive bios (though sometimes the bios were impressive for non-poetry reasons). For example I didn't get George Looney's contribution.

In "Sunday Cricket" by Clive Eastwood, there's "Dad sends down a full toss,/ the only sure delivery with the wicket/ deeper in grass than a meadow/ and the ball itself barely heavier/ than a shuttlecock. Son prods,/ Dog picks up at silly point./ After two dot balls Son feels/ Dad needs to be taught a lesson,/ winds every troy ounce of his strength/ into the swing". I'm interested in passages like this, where only a few changes would make it into a text that could pass as prose. Those changes help identify what is "poetic". Removing the line-breaks and the capitalized role names would help. Replacing "winds every troy ounce of his strength" (a phrase whose value I've doubts about anyway - it rouses too many allusions) would help too.

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