Monday, July 28, 2014

Robert Graves on Poetic Value

All that I am insisting on is that no poetry has hitherto appeared and no poetry can hope to appear to which an absolute permanent value may legitimately accorded.
('What is Bad Poetry?' in Poetic Unreason and Other Studies. 1925, p 43) 

Friday, July 18, 2014

The New Oxford Book of War Poetry, reviewed by George Simmers

Over at the most excellent 'Great War Fiction' blog, George Simmers has reviewed The New Oxford Book of War Poetry. Given the anniversary of the First World War it seems likely there will be a fair bit of this in the next four years.

"Great War Fiction" is a fine resource for anyone interested in....well,  fictive writing of and about The Great War.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Rough Spun to Close Weave Reviewed in the Quaterly Review

Liam Guilar – medievalist and modernist M. W. DAVIS

I'm going to spend far too much time thinking about that title.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Publication in Crannog and Australian Poetry Journal

Two new poems published.

 'The Testimony of one of Sir John Franklin's Officers' in Crannog and 'Butcher Bird (Rereading the Cantos)' in Apj.

It's always a pleasure to appear in Crannog, which is is published in Galway. They've been taking pomes of mine for a long time now and they produce an interesting mix of poems and prose.

I don't know why I seem to be able to find outlets in Ireland (Crannog, The SHOp, The Stinging Fly), where there seems to be more good poets per head of population than anywhere else,  but struggle to find any takers in Australia. So it's a pleasant change to have something accepted by The Australian Poetry Journal.

And it's always good to be published in the journals I read.

The truth about writing poetry: a parable

Two Dedicated Poets die on the same day. One goes to heaven; the other to hell,  nothing to do with their poems.

In Heaven the Angel takes the poet to a long sweeping beach. “Your reward”, says the Angel, “is to spend eternity counting the grains of sand on the beach”.

The poet smiles and asks; “And because this is heaven the number of the grains of sand is finite?”

‘Yes’, says the Angel, happy to see that the poet understands the blessing of it.

The poet kneels and worships the wisdom and kindliness of God.


In Hell, the Imp takes the other poet to a long sweeping beach. 'Your punishment', says the Imp, 'is to spend eternity counting all the grains of sand on the beach'.

The poet scowls and says, ‘And because this is hell….”

The Imp, laughing with demonic, impish glee interrupts Impishly: “The number of the grains of sand is infinite.”

The poet laughs. ‘This isn’t damnation’, he says, ‘this is just business as usual’.