Vol. 17 No. 15 · 3 August 1995
Twice monthly it is my practice to read snippets from the LRB during happy hour at my local, the Goat and Compasses. Neil Rollinson’s poems (LRB, 20 July) caused considerable discussion way into normal drinking time. Wilf, over in the snug, dismissed the lot as Page-Three titillation under the guise of intellectualism. Thelma, along with nearly all the lads at the bar, critiqued Rollinson’s obfuscation. Poetics carry an obligation towards pragmatics. By what means, I’m told to ask, does the heroine, using a. rope, b. silk thread and c. a plastic tube with a pump on the end, resurrect the hero’s ‘thing’? Harry said Pitt-Kethley would never permit such anatomically-impossible deception to grace her work. Short-shirt-sleeve Sam claimed it had nothing to do with what we were all thinking – it was really an allegorical commentary on John Major’s reelection. I’m neutral on all this.