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Perfectly Mobile, Perfectly Still

David Craig: Land Artists, 14 December 2000

byAndy Goldsworthy.
Thames and Hudson, 203 pp., £35, August 2000, 0 500 51026 1
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... Sculpture need not be a bronze statue of a town councillor or a marble figure of a goddess, respectfully plinthed in gallery or plaza; or a curvaceous wooden form strung like a harp which we gaze at in dumbfounded silence. These days, it may well be a drystone wall winding between trees before burying its end in a lake, like the great Norse serpent for ever drinking the world’s waters dry ...

Scandal in Pittsburgh

David Nasaw: Andrew Mellon, 19 July 2007

Mellon: An American Life 
byDavid Cannadine.
Allen Lane, 779 pp., £30, November 2006, 0 7139 9508 4
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... said, were likely to choke on them. To spare them from ruin, and society from being despoiled by dynastic wealth, he argued for a nearly 100 per cent tax rate on large estates. ‘Looking at the usual result of enormous sums conferred upon legatees,’ he wrote in the Gospel of Wealth, ‘the thoughtful man must shortly say: “I would as soon leave to my ...

Apologia pro Poematis Meis

David Craig, 9 July 1987

... south in Kirkby and Walsall Punks with spiky Mohicans, Skins in thick-soled Doc Martins, Pose to be snapped in grainy photos. The choice could be epic or lyric, It could be tabloid or graffito. The antique options chose me Not in the study this morning But nearly a century past When my ...

Short Cuts

David Renton: Swinging the Baton, 4 August 2022

... to the government’s briefing notes, to deal with ‘highly disruptive protests’, such as those by Insulate Britain and Extinction Rebellion, and against HS2. It will resuscitate clauses from the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill that were rejected by the Lords, such as the criminalisation of ‘locking ...

Party Man

David Marquand, 1 July 1982

Tony Crosland 
bySusan Crosland.
Cape, 448 pp., £10.95, June 1982, 9780224017879
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... I took an instant dislike to him. I was then a rather priggish Bevanite, and I was shocked by his politics. I was even more shocked by his manner. He seemed to typify what I most disliked about the Southern English mandarinate. He had a cut-glass accent. He was insufferably sure of himself. He was appallingly and ...

Shaggy Fellows

David Norbrook, 9 July 1987

A History of Modern Poetry: Modernism and After 
byDavid Perkins.
Harvard, 694 pp., £19.95, April 1987, 0 674 39946 3
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Collected Poems 
byGeoffrey Hill.
Penguin, 207 pp., £3.95, September 1985, 0 14 008383 9
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The Poetry of Geoffrey Hill 
byHenry Hart.
Southern Illinois, 305 pp., $24.95, January 1986, 0 8093 1236 0
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... his Collected Poems, Geoffrey Hill concentrates our attention on one of the central problems posed by Pound’s poetry and explored by his own. Beauty is no absolute guarantee of truth or morality; art may illuminate or corrupt. As David Perkins points out in Modernism and After, Pound is ...

Is this the end of the UK?

David Runciman: The End of the UK?, 27 May 2010

... of political science that what happens in election campaigns doesn’t make any real difference. By the time the formal campaigning starts the voters pretty much know where they stand. They then have to wait patiently (or impatiently) for a few weeks while politicians and journalists get their knickers in a twist over imagined gaffes and surges, swings and ...

Short Cuts

David Runciman: The Dirtiest Player Around, 10 October 2013

... in the Mail, thinks the way to understand Damian McBride’s relationship to Gordon Brown is by analogy with the Third Reich. McBride didn’t need to take direct orders from his boss because he already understood the violence that Brown wished on his enemies. The underling was working towards the Führer. Alastair Campbell, speaking on Andrew Neil’s ...

Two poems after Yannis Ritsos

David Harsent, 27 September 2012

... lifted her glass, the bracelets rattled on her wrist. ‘Listen to that,’ she said, ‘I must be dead.’ At once a piercing white light shone out from her mouth and all within its range was marble and bone. Voices died. Hands locked in a gesture. Our ships were white, the sea was white, a white gull pitched out of the sky and landed on the table ...
... heart.All I possessed were secret books. Dion´yzy arranged my bedas we both wished. There will be no children, he had said.This is what I swan-sung when I wed: I am marryinghis harp. I died back to life as a child, a bride at fifteen.I heart-sang: ‘The harp is the abyss. I shall never knowthe earth again, not through her notes, not as the notesfrom a ...

Two Poems

David Wheatley, 8 May 2008

... of Chile. Solitaries are demagogues and demagogues solitaries. Annual poetry sales, it must be said, never dip, not a unit. Penguins are rarely mentioned for fear of obviousness though the albatross, where encountered, is a symbol for penguins, and the elephant seal a symbol for the albatross. The local note is especially prized on condition that nobody ...

The Garden Goddess

David Harsent, 29 January 2009

... Out by the woodpile at 3 a.m., knock-kneed and shitfaced, lost in your own backyard, you pour a libation that comes straight from the dregs and she drinks it. Or you stand at a sinkful of broken this and that wide-eyed and with nary a hint of what’s next, as she goes by with her Tesco bags and a fifth of gin in her pocket ...

From Loss

David Harsent, 7 March 2019

... for me.’ Sometimeshe lies down with these rejects. His finger-bones achehe imagines them blacked by a lifelong seepage of ink.Among the crosshatch of deletions one line untouched:She said: ‘This comes not from the scar but from the wound.’With that a shift in her womb: the unnamed child.         She is the girl waiting         at the ...

Country Life

David Cannadine, 5 November 1981

The Victorian Countryside 
edited byG.E. Mingay.
Routledge, 380 pp., £25, July 1981, 0 7100 0734 5
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... In 1972, Routledge and Kegan Paul published The Victorian City: Images and Realities, edited by H.J. Dyos and Michael Wolff, a Wagnerian epic in which history went to town in exuberant, zestful and flamboyant fashion. Understandably, the two volumes won immediate and widespread acclaim as a tour de force of entrepreneurial inspiration and editorial skill: ‘a study in superlatives’ was the response of one ecstatic reviewer ...
The Socialist Agenda 
edited byDavid Lipsey.
Cape, 242 pp., £7.95, January 1981, 0 224 01886 8
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The Future of Socialism 
byAnthony Crosland.
Cape, 368 pp., £8.95, January 1981, 0 224 01888 4
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Politics is for people 
byShirley Williams.
Allen Lane/Penguin, 230 pp., £8.50, April 1981, 0 7139 1423 8
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... decisions taken at the Wembley conference in January, but even if it does the Party will still be committed to an electoral college of some sort, and the leadership will still be even more obviously in thrall to an incompetent and unpopular trade-union movement than it used to be in ...

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