Friday 21 July 2017

BOOKworm

*In college I hated having to study Paradise Lost, not just because it was difficult but also because of its sheer bloody length. Like many people, the poems I most love seldom occupy more than a page - Larkin's The Whitsun Weddings, which runs to eight lines over three pages, is an honourable exception.

*In college I hated having to study Paradise Lost, not just because it was difficult but also because of its sheer bloody length. Like many people, the poems I most love seldom occupy more than a page - Larkin's The Whitsun Weddings, which runs to eight lines over three pages, is an honourable exception.

Brevity, I feel, is the soul of poetry and sometimes the shorter a poem is the better. Indeed, Frank Ormsby has edited a lovely little book of Irish verse called The Hip Flask (Blackstaff Press), in which no poem is longer than 10 lines. There we can read Paul Muldoon's richly suggestive Ireland:

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