Friday, 20 July 2007

First impressions

Only had time for a quick look at those two books I mentioned last night, but I like what I saw. I read the first few poems in Actual Air, and enjoyed them hugely. David Berman has a style that is simultaneously matter-of-fact and rather surreal, and like many American poets he uses long lines very well. The blurb on the back mentions John Ashbery, but if anything he reminded me a little of Kenneth Koch. It's very accessible, but far from simple.
The Harriet Tarlo book is quite different. I read a couple of short poems, thought "hmmm...", put the book down, then felt compelled to return to it for short snatches throughout the evening. It works like that - there's a very subtle cumulative effect, and the more pared-down the poems get, the more powerful they are.
Another weekend of weather misery ahead, but at least I'll be able to read more...

No comments: