Michael Hulse

Poem: ‘A Chinese Tale’

Michael Hulse, 27 July 1989

I dreamt I was the simple trusting boy who took his wicked teacher’s jealous hand and climbed the mountain. And the teacher said he had to go away, but he’d be back, and if I happened to be hungry, why, all I need do was eat the stones. His eyes were fine strokes of a calligrapher’s brush conveying messages I could not read (though how I longed to learn and understand). I...

Poem: ‘To Botho Strauss in Berlin’

Michael Hulse, 30 March 1989

Your cool high-ceilinged life is naked as a stage,

as if you’d taken an apartment where the set-designer of your dreams

had recently moved out. It is a theatre after the première,

filled up to emptiness with applause. I think of God the Almighty after the ball,

sitting as you imagined him on the palace steps, asleep in his slippers and topper.

Let there (he mumbles in his slumber,...

SIR: The clash between Ian Hamilton, one-time editor of the Review and the New Review, and Peter Craven and Michael Heyward, present editors of Scripsi (LRB, 9 July, and Letters, 3 September) strikes me as having great entertainment value. It isn’t every day you see a man who still imagines all the world is talking about what was once, quite a while ago, a perfectly good magazine, argy-bargying in...

Above all else we are concerned, in whatever form we let it take us, with memory. The idea of memory enables us to believe we can grasp the vanished past, historical or personal, and restructure...

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The German Ocean: Suffolk Blues

D.J. Enright, 17 September 1998

Change and decay in all around we see. As one of W.G. Sebald’s epigraphs points out, the rings of Saturn are probably fragments of a moon, broken up by tidal effect when its orbit decayed....

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Jonathan Coe, 20 March 1997

This curious, mesmerising book, a hybrid of fiction and memoir which tells the life stories of four unhappy exiles, is the work of a German writer until now almost unknown in this country. It has...

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James Wood, 5 August 1993

Poetry anthologies are now expected to make holy war; but what to do with The New Poetry, which strives so earnestly to turn its trumpet-majors into angels? The 55 poets collected here are, it...

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Ancient Orthodoxies

C.K. Stead, 23 May 1991

‘Aller Moor’, the first poem in Antidotes, begins And now the distance seems to grow Between myself and that I know: It is from a strange land I speak And a far stranger that I...

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