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, 3 May 2017

"Polishing October" by George Gomori (Shoestring, 2013)

An 89-page New and Selected with poems from London Magazine, The Rialto, TLS, etc, translated by Clive Wilmer and the Hungarian poet. I'm far from convinced by poems like "When ...", "Conversation in Jerusalem" or "Casanova in Wolfenbuttel", and "Portrait of a scientist" (about Hawking) seems trite to me. Surely there are poems with sections better than these below -

  • The blood-stained star of destiny
    Has set out on its path through space;
    There are no saving miracles -
    Nor can remorse now win you grace.
  • Let's not wait till the next earthquake:
    if nature won't do it, man is sure
    to do his utmost to create a country
    where life is no longer worth living.
  • Here's the start and finish of "46 Grantchester Road"

    With you twenty-four years
    in the same house in good cheer,
    in joy, sorrow, alarm
    Twenty-four years it has been
    in the house we leave today;
    twenty-four years, twenty-four;
    let's start counting anew

"Gloss on Nadezhda" sounds like prose. Maybe it's the translation.

"Would I sell me soul" (p.37) looks like a typo.

Other reviews

  • Robert Murray Davis (The strongest poems in the collection draw upon his memories of Hungary and his sense of exile ... These poems tend to be gray-tinged, offering only marginal hope while mourning and celebrating the past)

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