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Philip Martin

Selected Poems by Andrew Taylor & New and Selected Poems by Philip Martin

July 1988, no. 102

Reading these three collections, I was struck by the recurring feel of travel and the great and traditional themes of love, death, and history. These books would not yield much for a study of regionality! As two of the books are selected poems and include work written over nearly thirty years by poets who have spent a lot of time overseas, the sense of history is perhaps not unusual. All the poets have spent time in Europe and America. But the way they view history shows how they differ as poets. Philip Martin seems constantly to feel the history of Europe and Scandinavia in his blood, both in his references back to origins and customs and in his exploration of love and mortality through these.

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The Observatory: Selected poems by Dimitris Tsaloumas, translated by Philip Grundy

October 1983, no. 55

Migrant writing in this country isn’t just burgeoning, it has begun to flourish. The writing itself and the study of it begin to look like a ‘growth industry’. What I know of it is varied both in kind and quality, but I’ve no doubt at all that the poetry of Dimitris Tsaloumas is an important achievement by any standard.

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Sometimes I’ve written reviews ‘because I was invited’, or felt I should. But this is a book I really want to review. And I wasn’t invited: I applied for the job. For close on thirty years I’ve been grateful to Rosemary Dobson, especially for her third book, Child with a Cockatoo (1955), the one through which I came to know her work. Her latest, despite obvious continuities, gives a rather different kind of pleasure, and new reasons for gratitude.

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