Monday, March 22, 2010

Identity Parade


Found this excellent and thoughtful review of the new Bloodaxe anthology, edited by Roddy Lumsden, Identity Parade at David Green's blog, dated March 13th 2010:

 '... moving from poem to poem one is perhaps overawed by the sheer weight of work on offer and the wide selection of poets with only a few poems each might begin to look like an unwillingness to select more rigorously. Eventually, many of the poems could in fact have been written by roughly the same poet or at least by poets who all studied for the same creative writing MA. One becomes accustomed to the choice adjective, the erudite lexis (intaglio, ingleberried, periphrasis) and the well-read references worn like a casual off-the-shoulder number. Some of these writers are trying a bit too hard. '

There was a more recent glance in its direction at the Times Online site, but since it failed to engage with the actual poetry, it was next to worthless as a review.

Todd Swift was more positive at Eyewear than David Green, but also spotted an absence of obvious frontrunners in this motley pack:

'Also missing are the show-stoppers - the lightning-strike poems - that mark a poet or generation as great. While there are hundreds of good, solid, well-written and often genuinely dazzling or inventive poems included, it is hard to actually recollect a dozen or more whose lines are so memorable as to represent a genuine threat to Ted Hughes, Larkin, or Mahon. As such, it may still be very much a provisional period, not yet fully formed - and the leaders of the pack have yet to fully dominate the minor figures.'

1 comment:

P Nolan said...

I'm looking forward to dipping into this at some point. In that respect, the reviewers have done their work well ;-)