Saturday 9 June 2012

Two reviews of Ian Pindar's Constellations

My review of Ian Pindar's Constellations appears today at The Guardian, minus two sentences of criticism. Here is the sentence prior to them along with the missing sentences:

The poems are most effective when precise images build into nuanced observations, as when the speaker notes "the seductive endurance of the particular" toward the end of "21." When the entire poem  operates as an abstract meditation, sometimes the result appears a little hackneyed, as when "62" begins "Poetry must go where prose cannot follow." At other times the desire to declare means an otherwise intriguing poem is undermined by a trite conclusion, as when "75" closes with "A new beginning, a fresh start, morning" and "77" ends "If my children are happy I am happy."

From there the review resumes as it's printed. I post this here because I don't want any reputation I may have as a discerning reader of poetry to be marred by what seems a wholly positive review of a not wholly strong collection. Obviously it has a number of good qualities, as the review in The Guardian notes, but the weaknesses need to be noted also.

1 comment:

  1. I’m sure the cheque from The Guardian was very nice but, like you, I would be deeply troubled if an editor came along and did something like that. I keep waiting on Canongate or Alma saying they’ll stop sending me books because of my honesty but so far I seem to be getting away with it. Okay I may not have The Guardian’s readership but that also means that the only editor I have to please is my wife (who really does edit my posts by the way.)