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Received Accents

Peter Robinson, 20 February 1986

Collected Poems 
by Charles Tomlinson.
Oxford, 351 pp., £15, September 1985, 0 19 211974 5
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Selected and New Poems: 1939-84 
by J.C. Hall.
Secker, 87 pp., £3.95, September 1985, 0 436 19052 4
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Burning the knife: New and Selected Poems 
by Robin Magowan.
Scarecrow Press, 114 pp., £13.50, September 1985, 0 8108 1777 2
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Englishmen: A Poem 
by Christopher Hope.
Heinemann, 41 pp., £4.95, September 1985, 0 434 34661 6
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Selected Poems: 1954-1982 
by John Fuller.
Secker, 175 pp., £8.95, September 1985, 0 436 16754 9
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Writing Home 
by Hugo Williams.
Oxford, 70 pp., £3.95, September 1985, 0 19 211970 2
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... Charles Tomlinson has a poem called ‘Class’ about the Midland pronunciation of the first letter of the alphabet. In the last chapter of Some Americans, the poet tells how for a short time he was Percy Lubbock’s secretary at a villa near Lerici. In ‘Class’, he says he tried to pronounce the ‘ah’ of received English, but couldn’t and, because ‘I too visibly shredded his fineness,’ was released from the post ...


Anne Enright: Mrs Robinson Repents, 28 January 2010

... Iris Robinson is, at the time of writing, under acute psychiatric care in a Belfast hospital, after a BBC Northern Ireland documentary revealed that she had, at the age of 59, solicited £50,000 from two property developers to help fund a business run by her 19-year-old lover, Kirk McCambley. She has some experience of the mental health profession ...

Pound and the Perfect Lady

Donald Davie, 19 September 1985

Pound’s Artists: Ezra Pound and the Visual Arts in London, Paris and Italy 
by Richard Humphreys.
Tate Gallery, 176 pp., £12.95, June 1985, 0 946590 28 1
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Ezra Pound and Dorothy Shakespear: Their Letters 1909-1914 
edited by Omar Pound and A. Walton Litz.
Faber, 399 pp., £25, January 1985, 0 571 13480 7
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... Italy. Carpenter, predictably, finds the three essayists – Richard Humphreys, John Alexander and Peter Robinson – ‘taking a rather solemn approach to the whole thing’; whereas, he assures us, Pound’s exertions on behalf of these arts partook ‘more than a little of the amiable joke’. Before it is through, Pound’s centenary year will bring ...

The Case for Geoffrey Hill

Tom Paulin, 4 April 1985

Geoffrey Hill: Essays on his Work 
edited by Peter Robinson.
Open University, 259 pp., £18, March 1985, 0 335 10588 2
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... use of that fable in his second volume inevitably attaches a disabling reminder of the Dunciad to Peter Robinson and his assembled chorus of scholars. There is something cosy and desperate in their yawping enterprise. It could be that Ricks, in his essay ‘Tenebrae and At-One-Ment’, is deliberately baiting ‘the current scientism and ...


Donald Davie, 11 June 1992

In the Circumstances: About Poems and Poets 
by Peter Robinson.
Oxford, 260 pp., £35, May 1992, 0 19 811248 3
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... It seems now that there was always something odd about Peter Robinson’s being the editor, in 1985, of Geoffrey Hill: Essays on His Work, from the Open University Press. Robinson’s sensibility, particularly as one had encountered it in his poems, pointed away from the aloofness of Hill’s attitude to his public, and away from Hill’s lofty and recherché diction, towards something plainer, more demotically awkward, more (the word presented itself) Wordsworthian ...


Stephen Smith: Peace in Our Lunchtime, 6 October 1994

... Loyalist operator gave the impression that he looked forward to putting down his gun. When I asked Peter Robinson of the DUP about his, he replied: ‘If I got the chance to get it out, I’d probably get quite close to my target.’ We were gazing across Robinson’s lawn at the ramparts of his garden wall. His closed ...

Someone Else’s

Matthew Reynolds: Translating Cesare Pavese, 6 October 2005

Disaffections: Complete Poems 1930-50 
by Cesare Pavese, translated by Geoffrey Brock.
Carcanet, 370 pp., £14.95, April 2004, 1 85754 738 1
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The Faber Book of 20th-Century Italian Poems 
edited by Jamie McKendrick.
Faber, 167 pp., £12.99, June 2004, 0 571 19700 0
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... for each poet, but they are little help: a poem by Sandro Penna (1906-77) translated by Blake Robinson on page 66 seems close to some lines by Giuseppe Ungaretti (1888-1970) translated by Marcus Perryman and Peter Robinson on page 38: but is there really an echo? If so, which way does it run? And is it in the ...

In Fiery Letters

Mark Ford: F.T. Prince, 8 February 2018

Reading F.T. Prince 
by Will May.
Liverpool, 256 pp., £75, December 2016, 978 1 78138 333 9
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... his excellent introduction to the poem, published for the first time in 2015 by the Perdika Press, Peter Robinson suggests that to issue such a piece in the homophobic 1950s might well have proved ‘controversial’. The homoerotic charge Ashbery detected in Prince’s early poems is often what makes their Yeatsian rhetoric suddenly catch fire, driving ...


Tom Paulin: The Belfast agreement, 18 June 1998

... in order ‘to protect the mainland’. McCartney has campaigned vociferously with Ian Paisley and Peter Robinson against the Agreement – in April, at the launch of the United Unionist campaign, he gave the clenched fist salute – and though most people regard him as a provincial politician, his policy of trying to make Northern Ireland permanently ...

Love in the Ruins

Nicolas Tredell, 8 October 1992

Out of the Rain 
by Glyn Maxwell.
Bloodaxe, 112 pp., £6.95, June 1992, 1 85224 193 4
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Body Politic 
by Tony Flynn.
Bloodaxe, 60 pp., £5.95, June 1992, 1 85224 129 2
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by Linda France.
Bloodaxe, 80 pp., £5.95, June 1992, 1 85224 178 0
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Red-Haired Android 
by Jeremy Reed.
Grafton, 280 pp., £7.99, July 1992, 9780586091845
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by Peter Robinson, with an essay by Peter Swaab.
Robert Jones, 36 pp., £9.95, July 1992, 0 9514240 2 5
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... is not matched by visual or verbal precision. His palette is vivid, but his facture is slack. Peter Robinson’s Leaf-Viewing is a slender, finely-produced pamphlet which comes complete with a commentary by Peter Swaab. The commentary is helpful and perceptive, but it raises the question of why – other than to ...


Julian Girdham: Mansergh v. Arnold, 21 June 1984

... Report: Charles Haughey stands ready, sword unsheathed, to act as sole interpreter of the text. Peter Robinson of the Democratic Unionist Party said he expected to find holes in the noses of Garret Fitzgerald, John Hume and Dick Spring – evidence of Haughey’s rope. The three men walked right into that easy quip. So, this is what we’re all reduced ...


Nick Laird: Ulster Revisited, 28 July 2011

... a paramilitary movement established by unionists in 1986 after the Anglo-Irish Agreement. Peter Robinson, now first minister of Northern Ireland, was photographed wearing the loyalist paramilitary regalia of red beret and military fatigues, and at a rally in Enniskillen announced that ‘thousands have already joined the movement and the task of ...


Daniel Finn: IRA Splinter Groups, 30 April 2009

... party sticks to an unflinching neoliberal line in economic policy. Its leader and first minister, Peter Robinson, has attributed the global recession to excessive government regulation, which is at least original. Statistics released just before Christmas showed that 40 per cent of the workforce in West Belfast was unemployed, while a more recent ...


Susan McKay: Breakdown in Power-Sharing, 8 March 2018

... in 2015, it was mended with the Fresh Start Agreement. The then first and deputy first ministers, Peter Robinson and McGuinness, issued a joint statement signalling ‘our resolve to engender the sea change so longed for by our communities’. The reference was to Seamus Heaney’s The Cure at Troy, in which ‘hope and history rhyme’ and there is ...


Tom Paulin: In Donegal, 8 October 1992

... wrecked – just makes procedural points only – there’ll be no movement for five years, then Robinson, Peter Robinson, he’ll try to make a deal. That’s the word.’ ‘Aye, I heard that.’ ‘Oh did you so? Well be-God let’s talk about something else then.’ A moment of danger – have we hit the rapids? I ...

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