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Going Electric

Patrick McGuinness: J.H. Prynne

7 September 2000
Poems 
by J.H. Prynne.
Bloodaxe/Folio/Fremantle Arts Centre, 440 pp., £25, March 2000, 1 85224 491 7
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Pearls that Were 
by J.H. Prynne.
Equipage, 28 pp., £4, March 1999, 1 900968 95 9
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Triodes 
by J.H. Prynne.
Barque, 42 pp., £4, December 1999, 9781903488010
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Other: British and Irish Poetry since 1970 
edited by Richard Caddel and Peter Quartermain.
Wesleyan, 280 pp., $45, March 1999, 0 8195 2241 4
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... all from prizes, patronage or commissions, his audience has been growing. His work was the subject of an excellent Radio 3 programme in 1999 and there is a fine introduction to it by N.H. Reeve and Richard Kerridge, Nearly Too Much (1995). For some, all this exposure, combined with a move to a ‘mainstream’ publisher, has been like Bob Dylan going electric, but it represents an opportunity for the ...

Imagine Tintin

Michael Hofmann: Basil Bunting

9 January 2014
A Strong Song Tows Us: The Life of Basil Bunting 
by Richard​ Burton.
Infinite Ideas, 618 pp., £30, September 2013, 978 1 908984 18 0
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... or excessive greatness is dreary). A late flowering is ideal, but not essential. For the former, one might nominate Trakl, Laforgue, Keats and Shelley (I don’t think I breathed while I was reading Richard Holmes’s Shelley: The Pursuit all those years ago); for a rare, artful blending of long and short, one can’t do better than Rimbaud and Hölderlin; and for the latter, Hamsun, Yeats, Shaw – and ...

In the Châtelet

Jeremy Harding

20 April 1995
François Villon: Complete Poems 
edited by Barbara Sargent-Bauer.
Toronto, 346 pp., £42, January 1995, 0 8020 2946 9
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Basil Bunting: Complete Poems 
edited by Richard Caddel.
Oxford, 226 pp., £10.99, September 1994, 0 19 282282 9
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... however, the ‘Epitaphe’ doesn’t always sound well, and the wind – which gives way to an Ionian calm in ‘Un Voyage à Cythère’ – is no more than a faint breeze around the ankles. Richard Aldington, who could often be found sucking where the bee sucks, produced an unfortunate version that does much the same: ‘Now here, now there, as the wind sways, sway we.’ And Peter Dale, always ...

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