Hoo-Hooing in the Birch

Michael Hofmann

  • Bright Scythe: Selected Poems by Tomas Tranströmer, translated by Patty Crane
    Sarabande, 207 pp, £13.00, November 2015, ISBN 978 1 941411 21 6

I have a sort of moral-aesthetic compass rose I like to play with. The designations are approximate and subject to change, but for now they go like this: North-South is the axis of simplicity; East-West that of pleasure. The North is spare, the South proliferative; the West bland, the East astringent … Well, for something so simple and seemingly arbitrary, there is probably more truth in it than there ought to be.

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