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Like a Meteorite

James Davidson, 31 July 1997

Homer in English 
edited by George Steiner.
Penguin, 355 pp., £9.99, April 1996, 0 14 044621 4
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Homer’s ‘Iliad’ 
translated by Stanley Lombardo.
Hackett, 584 pp., £6.95, May 1997, 0 87220 352 2
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Homer’s ‘Odyssey’ 
translated by Robert Fagles.
Viking, 541 pp., £25, April 1997, 0 670 82162 4
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... Greeks, we have our own archaic Chapman. To get a taste of his originality, try James Joyce, or Derek Walcott. For drama and pathos try Christopher Logue, and for sheer poetic artistry try Fitzgerald or Alexander Pope. And if, after this, you feel in need of some orality, have some friends round for dinner, put on some music and read it ...

Is it always my fault?

Denis Donoghue: T.S. Eliot, 25 January 2007

T.S. Eliot 
by Craig Raine.
Oxford, 202 pp., £12.99, January 2007, 978 0 19 530993 5
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... We hear of Raine’s friends, James Fenton, Martin Amis; of Heaney’s Station Island; harshly of Walcott: ‘In Omeros (Chapter XII), you can see Derek Walcott’s botched, fatally indebted copy of Eliot when he describes his encounter with his father Warwick’s ghost: Eliot’s drained pool full of mystical water ...

My Darlings

Colm Tóibín: Drinking with Samuel Beckett, 5 April 2007

... for Walt Disney, playing a leprechaun in Darby O’Gill and the Little People. In the words of Derek Walcott, either he was nobody or he was a nation. London, to where he quickly returned after his role as a leprechaun, was for MacGowran both a capital city and a place of exile, a place where he could be a figure of swaggering talent and a marginal ...

Too Many Alibis

James Wood: Geoffrey Hill, 1 July 1999

Canaan 
by Geoffrey Hill.
Penguin, 76 pp., £7.99, September 1996, 0 14 058786 1
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The Truth of Love: A Poem 
by Geoffrey Hill.
Penguin, 82 pp., £8.99, January 1997, 0 14 058910 4
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... for), a personal one with the reader has not. The poem compares poorly, in this regard, with Derek Walcott’s ‘Forest of Europe’, also about Mandelstam, but which is not afraid to hazard a connection between Mandelstam’s exile and that of Joseph Brodsky (to whom it is addressed), and then to Walcott’s ...

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