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Selected Poems 
by Patricia Beer.
Hutchinson, 152 pp., £5.95, April 1980, 0 09 138450 8
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The Venetian Vespers 
by Anthony Hecht.
Oxford, 91 pp., £3.95, March 1980, 0 19 211933 8
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Nostalgia for the Present 
by Andrei Voznesensky.
Oxford, 150 pp., £3.50, April 1980, 0 19 211900 1
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Reflections on the Nile 
by Ronald Bottrall.
London Magazine Editions, 56 pp., £3.50, May 1980, 0 904388 33 6
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Summer Palaces 
by Peter Scupham.
Oxford, 55 pp., £3, March 1980, 9780192119322
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... are those quoted from the American buttons themselves: ‘Men are the ancestors of apes,’ ‘Ronald Reagan is a lesbian,’ ‘If it moves, fondle it.’ Lastly, to return to the issue of nationalism, there is a long poem here, too, ‘Story Under Full Sail’, a group of lyrics about a swashbuckling sea-captain Rezanov who, by marrying the daughter of ...

Memories are made of this

Patricia Beer, 16 December 1993

Aren’t We Due a Royalty Statement? 
by Giles Gordon.
Chatto, 352 pp., £16.99, August 1993, 0 7011 6022 5
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Yesterday Came Suddenly 
by Francis King.
Constable, 336 pp., £16.95, September 1993, 9780094722200
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Excursions in the Real World 
by William Trevor.
Hutchinson, 201 pp., £16.99, September 1993, 0 09 177086 6
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... I think it was Heal’s in Tottenham Court Road’. He made some changes to an article by Ronald Harwood but as to what they were: ‘I really can’t remember.’ This motif could be a useful technical device in another context but in this case it can only be a motive: to cut the great and famous down to size. It is difficult to catch the intended ...

A Pickwick among Poets, Exiled in the Fatherland of Pickled Fish

Colin Burrow: British Latin verse, 19 August 1999

The English Horace: Anthony Alsop and the Traditions of British Latin Verse 
by D.K. Money.
Oxford, 406 pp., £38, December 1998, 0 19 726184 1
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... for chaps. Alsop (his very name announces that, like Leavis’s impossibly named favourite Ronald Bottrall, he could never make it in the canon) is not the English Horace. He is a Neo-Latin simulacrum of Horace. What is lacking in his writing is any live sense of inter-cultural stress: he has no difficulty in sounding like Horace while remaining ...


Clive James, 21 October 1982

... their nights Composing articles that make you whistle, Since even Leavis’s worst panegyrics For Ronald Bottrall didn’t sound like lyrics? The dons are punished for their dereliction With dour gibes from the joyless Donald Davie Who demonstrates at length Sue’s vaunted diction Tastes thin compared with dehydrated gravy, While as for her alleged ...

What happened to MacDiarmid

David Norbrook, 23 October 1986

Hugh MacDiarmid: The Man and his Work 
by Nancy Gish.
Macmillan, 235 pp., £25, June 1984, 0 333 29473 4
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Complete Poems 
by Hugh MacDiarmid.
Penguin, £8.95, February 1985, 0 14 007913 0
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... Leavis’s New Bearings in English Poetry where the way forward from Eliot is held to lie with Ronald Bottrall. To their credit, Eliot and Leavis did give some attention to MacDiarmid despite their political differences: but it was Edwin Muirrather than MacDiarmid who became canonised as a Faber Poet, and to understand his later poetry it is necessary ...

Even paranoids have enemies

Frank Kermode, 24 August 1995

F.R. Leavis: A Life in Criticism 
by Ian MacKillop.
Allen Lane, 476 pp., £25, July 1995, 0 7139 9062 7
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... and musical talk. Younger writers Leavis admired but turned against included William Empson and Ronald Bottrall, who had once been his ‘tips’ for the future of poetry; after Seven Types of Ambiguity, which was repeatedly praised, Empson began to seem less intelligent. A remarkably successful attempt on the part of his admirers to raise funds for a ...

You Muddy Fools

Dan Jacobson: In the months before his death Ian Hamilton talked about himself to Dan Jacobson, 14 January 2002

... on ‘Pity Me Not’; but there we go. I’m not sure which was which; but one of them I sent to Ronald Duncan at the Royal Court. Immense crowd scenes, people standing around, pitying the hero – i.e. me.It sounds very like Duncan. It was. This Way to the Tomb was his big play at the time. I liked that title.You say you also wrote a more overtly political ...

Fellow Genius

Claude Rawson, 5 January 1989

The Poems of John Oldham 
edited by Harold Brooks and Raman Selden.
Oxford, 592 pp., £60, February 1987, 0 19 812456 2
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... by his name, and rudely seizes me. It’s a powerfully assured and innovative voice within what Ronald Bottrall once described as the ‘colloquial tradition’ in English poetry. It has a thrusting flatness, equally free of gnarled Skeltonic overkill and of Rochesterian overheating (that charged conversational incandescence which Oldham sometimes ...

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