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Showing posts from December 29, 2013

New and Selected Poems by Chris Wallace-Crabbe

A Trick of Lightness New and Selected Poems by Chris Wallace-Crabbe (Carcarnet Oxford Poets; 2013) Chris Wallace-Crabbe, New and Selected Poems Reviewer: Philip Harvey Weighty words and heavy ideas are the very stuff of this poetry, and yet one after-effect of reading Chris Wallace-Crabbe is a sense of lightness. Lightness was a recurring theme of praise for his work at the recent Melbourne symposium held in his honour, as he entered his eightieth year. The Psalmist talks of fourscore years being one of labour and sorrow, but this is not the main impression given by the new poems here. A marvellous delight in wordplay is coupled with a stable ability to describe the multidirectional mind and blessed body, as they walk lightly across the earth. Lightness does not mean lightweight, for indeed this book is packed with material that obeys the laws of gravity. One eye is trained permanently on tradition. Nor by lightness are we talking about light verse, that underr