stapsreads: 'The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them' (Default)
What they call a 'slim volume' - a small collection of poems. Most of them felt verbose and contrived, but I did like 'The Green Rain'.

This is a hitch-hiking BookCrossing book, which is trying to get to Arbroath. I'm releasing it at Holyhead, which is a bit out of its way, but where it may get picked up by someone who's heading to Scotland one way or another.

http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/10301277
stapsreads: 'The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them' (Default)
I'm no particular fan of the Lake poets, but I rather found that this didn't matter. (In fact, had I been a passionate devotee of W. Wordsworth, for example, I'd have found some idols to have feet of clay.) This is a fascinating biography of the women of the Lakes circle - Sarah Coleridge, Dorothy Wordsworth, Mary Wordsworth, Edith Southey, Sara Hutchinson in the elder generation and, in the younger, Sara Coleridge, Dora Wordsworth and Edith May Southey. Drawing extensively on the women's own writings (correspondence, poetry, journals etc) and letting them speak for themselves where possible, Jones has brought together a sympathetic, convincing and very readable biography.

http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/10056780
stapsreads: 'The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them' (Default)
This little book is travelling round the Favourites of 2011 bookring along with 'Fugitive Pieces'. It's a gem: delicate, incisive poems, each featuring a pair of fairy tales. I came back to it several times.

http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/8660871
stapsreads: 'The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them' (Default)
As one might expect, the Nation's taste wanders between the unutterably cheesy and the really quite good. Contains quite a lot of Betjeman, a fair bit of Larkin, plenty of (Dylan) Thomas... In the main, the Nation's favourite poets seem to hail from the Nation, or at least the British Isles. (Sylvia Plath sneaks in there, mind. So does Robert Frost; no prizes for guessing which little horse must think it strange ahem) It includes some of my absolute favourites - Adrian Henri's 'Without You', and Seamus Heaney's 'Mid-Term Break' (if by 'favourite' you mean 'makes me cry on a crowded train don'tlookatmelikethat'). Also a couple that make me cringe. 'Footsteps' for example. ('"That, my child," said the Lord, "was when we were hopping."') Depressingly low proportion of female to male poets. Distinct lack of Housman (wot no summertime on Bredon?) - I'd have expected more than two, though I suppose the blue remembered hills would be the pick of choice. On the whole, though, a pleasing and reasonably representative collection.

http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/7971965
stapsreads: 'The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them' (Default)
Re-read prior to bookcrossing. I first came across Larkin in general, and this volume in particular, at A-level, and have been a fan ever since. For all that he's a grumpy old sod, he's a perceptive observer and is very competent at conveying the sights, sounds, and moods of his time. It's as if he's distilled the Britain of the sixties, and here it is. Of its time in the best sense of the phrase.

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