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... One foot on the second-top step of the small flight Of stairs which lead to the door of her fine house, The other on the third, the very old lady Stands, staring dead ahead, clutching the railings. At one point in my tortuous, interrupted walk Linking up all the second-hand bookshops I know of In this city which I visit too rarely, I pass by her, guiltily, without speaking ...

Not

Frank Kuppner, 12 May 1994

... 1. My mother sits in a chair, beside the tape-deck which is at present playing Kathleen Ferrier singing something by Gluck. By far the most usual something, I suppose. Orpheus’s lament for Eurydice, now dead and beneath the ground. And where is the singer? Where is she even though her voice is among us? And doubtless without the hope which Eurydice had ...

Sperm’s-Eye View

Robert Crawford, 23 February 1995

Dock Leaves 
by Hugo Williams.
Faber, 67 pp., £6.99, June 1994, 0 571 17175 3
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Spring Forest 
by Geoffrey Lehmann.
Faber, 171 pp., £6.99, September 1994, 0 571 17246 6
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Everything is Strange 
by Frank Kuppner.
Carcanet, 78 pp., £8.95, July 1994, 1 85754 071 9
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The Queen of Sheba 
by Kathleen Jamie.
Bloodaxe, 64 pp., £6.95, April 1994, 1 85224 284 1
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... are bare and clipped, quite the opposite of Murray’s dictionary-stretching, generous sprawl. Frank Kuppner has one of the most distinctive voices in contemporary British poetry. It’s heard clearly in the very first couplet of Everything is Strange: No, thanks. I’d rather have another Universe, Something a little brighter, if you don’t ...

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